I have been realizing this more and more lately: it is not about me.
For a long time, I have felt this gaping hole in the center of my chest, this sense of missing something, of being, slightly, crookedly, incomplete. I have spent countless hours worrying about it, thinking about it, searching for it, whatever it is. What is my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing? Why am I here? How can I make myself feel whole?
And I am starting to realize that it probably isn’t really about me, after all.
I received an email in my inbox the other day from an online business guru, talking about how people always say things like, “I want to run an online business and have passive income and work a flexible schedule.” And his response is, “Well, la de da, who cares what you want? What does your customer want?”
I have been reading a book entitled If You Find this Letter by Hannah Brencher, the founder of The World Needs More Love Letters, an organization that I discovered through her book and fell immediately, passionately, manically in love with. It is funny, because I thought, somewhere, she said the words, “It wasn’t about me.” And maybe she did. But I have been scanning and scanning and scanning the book, and for the life of me, I cannot find it. So I am forced to assume that it was an idea that was conveyed subtly, rather than explicitly stated. Either way, it hit me in the chest, and I immediately pulled my journal towards me and wrote the words IT IS NOT ABOUT ME across the top of a page in big bold letters.
Because maybe what I am looking for is not about me. Maybe it isn’t about what I need, but about what other people need, and how who I am can somehow meet those needs. Maybe I have been looking in all the wrong places because I have been focused on me when I needed to be focused on those outside of me.
At this point, I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know what that will lead to. But for now, I am committed to seeing the world from a slightly different perspective; a “what can I do for you” perspective, rather than a “what can you do for me” one (thanks, JFK). I started, simply, hopefully, with writing a few anonymous love letters to leave for strangers. I think Hannah would approve.
We’ll see where all this goes. But I have hope.