August 21, 2015
I set foot on the University of Kentucky campus for the first time as a student. I forced myself to be calm, cool, and collected while my head and heart were both thumping, crying, and having a textbook panic attack. My major was Accounting. I would graduate, start my own firm, and life would be simple and easy.
February 22, 2016
I woke up at 8 A.M., I ate my strawberry yogurt, and went to my only class on this chilly Monday. The class was MAT 114: Intro to Merchandising. Today’s lecture was on business ethics. The practices that companies employ behind the closed doors of conference rooms; and the things that companies try to keep us, the customer, from knowing. These are practices that make it possible for us to buy Iphones, $4 tshirts, and all of the other products that make our lives comfortable and easy.
I don’t think I have ever been hit so hard emotionally in my life. While staring at the pictures and videos on the Smartboard screen I found myself getting a lump in my throat and tearing up. All I could think about was the overwhelming urge I had to fix this. To take away the suffering that these people felt. To make a change.
All my life, (Almost 19 years), I have never been able to nail down what exactly it is that I’m passionate about. For awhile it was music, then art, then forensic science, then medicine, then business, back to art, then mission work, then back to business (fashion), and the cycle continues every single day. There are people like my mom who knew exactly who and what they wanted to be their entire lives. I’ve never had that thing that makes me tick. That thing that sets a fire inside of my soul.
Today I had a moment of simple clarity. That moment was in room 305 of Erikson Hall while Avery Malone was giving her usual Monday lecture. My moment was shared with forty other people who probably had no idea that one of their classmates’ mindset had just dramatically shifted. It was a moment where the world stood still, at least for me.
I realized that what I’m passionate about is fixing things that are broken. I love to help people. I want to help others to find their voice and use it to make positive differences in our society. I want to leave the world in better shape than what I found it in. I want to make a difference. I want to eliminate injustice and the status quo. Ultimately, I want to turn our culture upside down.
This life wasn’t created for us to live comfortably. We weren’t created to just make it day by day and go about our routine. I truly believe that God created each of us for a specific purpose. To me, that purpose is for us to walk with Him daily; but also, to find what makes our eyes light up and go after it without holding back. Whether that’s ending global poverty, attending to education reform or justice system reform, changing ethical business practices, encouraging others to save the environment, teaching others to be themselves and to use their voice, their talents, and their heart to change the world, or whatever else it might be, God created you for a reason. He gave you your specific passions for a reason.
Do not let someone else tell you that your passions are worthless because they might not make you six figures in this life. Money is a means for survival, not a source of power or influence. (Most people have this backwards, but don’t worry, we’ll fix that)
Finding your passion and living for God and that thing that makes you tick, or cry in the middle of class, is what gives you power, confidence, and influence. I truly believe that finding your passion is what makes life worth living. It’s what will make us happy and feel fulfilled on a daily basis.
As Alexis Jones said, “People will judge you and your dreams. They’ll tell you you’re crazy and try to convince you that mediocrity is the smarter choice.” This quote resonates with me personally because I’ve experienced this. People, even ones who are close to me, have told me my entire life that I should be a teacher. Or that I shouldn’t have changed my major to Finance and Management because “What kind of job can you get with that degree?” While nothing is wrong with teaching, or sitting at a desk all day, those aren’t the things that light a fire inside of me. These people were trying to put out my dreams by telling me that I wasn’t capable, or smart enough, or talented enough to be great. In all reality, God made me to be great. He created me to stand out and that’s exactly what I’ll do. I won’t be insecure. I won’t doubt myself. I won’t settle.
So here’s to the rule-breakers, the people that have no respect for the status quo. The people who are independence set on fire. The people who know who they are, and what they stand for. The people who are crazy enough to believe that they can change the world. Because the people that are crazy enough to believe that they can change the world, are the ones that do.