I’m On Purpose

You know what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately?


Recently, I was part of a divisional layoff with a company that I spent the last three years working at. The best thing about this layoff is, we received a decent severance package that has allowed me a bit of breathing room to reassess my wants, needs and passions without the panic attack of grabbing the first job that comes my way.

I get the night sweats when I think about settling for a job where I’m chained to a desk for 8.5hrs/day, my bum stuck to a chair (not even the swanky ergonomic kind), eating stale Cheetos out of my drawer, squinting at meaningless words and numbers on a monitor the size of Nebraska and only being allowed to leave my cubicle cell to get a cup of muddy coffee or take a quick bathroom break. All the while the fluorescent lights suck my very soul from within me one mercury vapor at a time.

I’ve been busy vamping up my resume with creative verbiage and nudging my passions forward to spotlight what I really would like to do, while keeping the tried and true experience standing tall for moral support and to maintain some semblance of propriety. They’re my resume chaperons, if you will, keeping my zany creativity in check.

I sound amazing on paper. Seriously, I would hire me. But then I look at it with one eye closed and both eyebrows raised (try it, you know you want to) and then I wonder if it’s good enough, if it says what I want it to say. Then I ask myself…what DO I want it to say? What kind of job do I want? Where do I want to spend a big ole chunk o’ munk of my day everyday and what do I want to spend that time doing?

That matters to me. I don’t want just a paycheck. I want a purposeful paycheck. I want to know that I’m doing something I not only enjoy, but that will make a difference in my community or the world in some small way. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I can make any old job purposeful because I’ve done that with almost every job I’ve ever had. But at this stage in my life, I want this new transition to be different than anything else that I’ve done or even attempted.

So, you know what I’ve been doing? I’ve been talking to people who are working doing things that they love and that I would love to do and soaking up their insight and wisdom like a sponge. I started training for a 5K (I never thought I could run but, Forrest, it turns out I can!), I applied to ride a bike 3,000 miles across the country next year with an amazing non-profit group, Ride:Well and have started to dust off my writing fingers again.

What do those things have to do with me getting a job? Everything.

I’m learning that I can do things I never thought I could or wanted to. I’m learning that our passions and goals just don’t fall in our laps but they need to be pursued and obtained. I’m taking risks and stretching my way out of the comfort zone that I’ve been unhappily resigned to for far too long. Life is too short and too amazing to just give up on trying something new and I don’t want to miss it.

If you don’t believe me…You have to believe the almighty Ferris…

What about you? Has change been tapping on your shoulder? What steps have you taken to get to where you want to be?

Leave a comment


  1. lisa DeLay

     /  June 8, 2010

    Each thing can be enjoy in its own way, even struggle. There doesn't have to be any of life wasted when we are aware…awake.

    Don't live a small reality. : )

    right on!

  2. ed cyzewski

     /  June 8, 2010

    Awesome and inspiring post. Hang in there! And by the way, have you read Crush It! It sounds like you're well on your way, but if you ever need a bit of encouragement to stay the course, it's a good read.

  3. Andrew

     /  June 9, 2010

    Good on ya, Mandy!

  4. Rebekah

     /  June 9, 2010

    I'm SOO proud of you! You are one amazing woman! 🙂

  5. E-manda

     /  June 9, 2010

    Thanks so much you guys!!!

  6. This is a great article, Amanda.
    I’m going through a transition myself (retiring from the Air Force after 21 years) and have found myself wanting the same thing in a new job/venture.
    I don’t just want a paycheck, but want to do something that I really enjoy and is meaningful to me.

    Opportunities come to you every now and then that nudge you and remind you of all the things that are available to you if you look around and dream.

  7. Tamara M Stender

     /  July 27, 2010

    Wow! This one really spoke to me and where I’m at right now and what I’m going through. Thanks for putting an exclamation point on it and giving me a swift kick in the butt. I needed it!

  8. Great insight. I’ve recently decided to work with the video camera and document my life with family in hand. It’s always been something i wanted to do and plan on taking it to another level. I’ve even used my work in my blog from time to time…well quite often actually. Look me up on The Weddington Adventures when you find the chance. Transformation of life is wonderous!! Keep in touch:)


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