To find your place in this world. To find your thing. How beautiful it sounds, almost poetic.
You can find lots of advice how to look for it. Less is written how rocky, long and lonely the road to find it can be.
“For someone this is the thing, but not for me. I don’t know what is it, but I have to keep on looking for it.” I said to my dear colleague when I quit my permanent job.
I cried and I was so scared. I had no idea what I would do next. Always before I had known, but not now.
A need to find my thing in this world have guided my life as long as I remember. I just haven’t been able to ignore the feeling but felt almost a compulsive need to be honest to myself. Do like that little feeling inside of me has said.
“You know when you find it.”, I’ve said to myself every time I’ve closed the door behind me.
Before that, I had done many different jobs. I felt that every one of them had taken me closer to it, that something.
When I received my permanent job I already thought that it was it. I felt that my job in the middle of beautiful lake nature included so many right elements. But no.
In the middle of “nothing” idea about saimaalife.com was born.
I bought a camera and started to share stories and photos of my life online. Things that I felt meaningful to share.
After publishing my first posts it was clear that I had taken a step to right direction.
The feeling that you are close, but not quite there is painful. You work, try different things, different angles, draw mind maps, read and take long walks. You do all that and still feel that there’s something that you miss. Something that is there but you just can’t figure out what is it.
It’s the most painful phase in finding your thing if you ask me. I was in that phase 3,5 years. 3,5 years!! If I hadn’t felt that every action that I took take me inch by inch (note! not step by step anymore) closer to what I was looking for, I had just quit.
When my blog was 1,5 years old I consciously closed my eyes from other blogs. I had started to write more stories that were hard to find elsewhere. I felt that my direction was right but comparing myself with others made me question myself.
“You are crazy!”, “Don’t be that naive!”, “WHY you just can’t do something, anything, for a living?!”, “You just have to DECIDE what’s your thing. Period!.”
A struggle in my head was intense.
When you search something long without finding it, it’s obvious that you get tired. Getting yourself motivated to continue becomes more difficult too.
After 2,5 years I honestly felt that I’ll never get there. All quotes about finding your thing in life didn’t encourage me at all. They made me sick.
Then my husband gave me Steve Jobs’s autobiography as a Christmas present.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
I laughed when I read those words from the book.
“This is just another point when the faith in myself is tested”, I decided, and kept sharing my life and photos online.
Finding your thing has a lot to do with getting to know yourself. The better your self-knowledge is, the better chances you have to find your thing basically.
It’s a wonderful feeling to become aware of your strengths. Weaknesses are another thing. When my blog was 3 years old I had painfully become aware of my weaknesses. To made me feel better I started to go through the feedback that I had got from my readers.
“I feel good and calm after I’ve visited your blog.”
“It’s so soothing. I use it as a place to rest for a while.”
That was the message in them.
“Maybe the fact that I’m naturally so slow isn’t my weakness after all. Maybe it’s a part of my thing.” I thought and felt that again I was an inch closer.
After going through readers’ feedback I started to read articles and studies about nature and wellbeing.
“Nature can now also be found in our virtual lives—in the photos we share online, the games we play, even the words we use. And it seems to help soothe our connected minds.”
wrote Sue Thomas in her article “Gazing at Virtual Nature Is Good for Your Psychological Well-Being“.
“The effect is still potent when viewed through a window or seen in a photograph or video. A painting, even a wall calendar, can have a similarly beneficial effect.”
She also wrote in the same article.
I thought about the feedback, myself and Sue’s words. The feeling that I need to be able to offer something more, the feeling that had bothered me as long as I had blogged, was gone.
“Just sharing my life in Saimaa IS enough”. I thought and smiled.
Finally, I felt that my head and vision was clear enough to take the next step.
I started to look for help and found out that Saimaa Start Up was about to begin in my home region. It’s s a community aiming to help entrepreneurship and start-up activities to grow and develop the ideas.
I signed up.
In practice, the coaching was done by Courage Ventures. I don’t know whether it was their expertise, the perfect timing or all the work I had done myself. The result was that when I went home from the third coaching session I took a paper and a pen. It took me only 10 minutes to draw a paper that I had tried to draw for 3,5 years. I was stunned.
Funniest was to notice that everything I had gone through during those years were in one way or another in that paper.
All pieces had finally found their place.
One beautiful winter day, after another walk with my camera, I sat down to snow to admire peace and beauty around me.
I thought about the point where I am with my blog right now. It’s a point where I need to make big decisions and take financial risks. A point that includes a lot of things I’ve been scared of and stressed about.
Surprisingly, when I sat in the snow I didn’t feel stressed or anxious. Instead, I felt calm and good.
For many of us finding our thing and place in this world is hard and complicated. It has been that for me too. Very hard.
Now I can just say that all the work to find my thing in this world has been worth it. That feeling is connected to so many other good things in life. It opens you up doors that you wouldn’t be able to open up otherwise. It gives you courage and confidence to do things that you wouldn’t otherwise do.
Most of all it brings peace in your mind. And when you have that feeling, you can just sit and feel good.
You are ready to settle down.