Your purpose is more than your work or even your career.
Audre Lorde wrote, “I am who I am doing what I came to do.”
Who are you—and what did you come here to do?
I spend a lot of time talking about life’s purpose through the framework with astrology, in conversation with so many brilliant people doing so many remarkable things in the world.
And often in these conversations there is a subtle or sometimes not-so-subtle tendency to immediately try to relate the idea of purpose back to the career or work.
And for some people, their career or work may be integral to their life’s purpose.
And I certainly hope that we all find ways to spend our days that feel meaningful and satisfying and yes, even purposeful, including in the work that we do.
Your purpose might be to love, deeply and passionately investing yourself in the well-being of others and yourself.
Your purpose might be to grieve, to hold and process the immensity of loss that you encounter personally and collectively.
Your purpose might be to build community, to connect with others who share your views and visions and values, to generate solidarity and meaningful relations across partial alignments.
Your purpose might be to study, to learn, to be a reader of great thinkers and voices and artists, to become a living archive and site of synthesis for the wisdom that came before.
Your purpose might be to tend the land, to care for the more-than-human relations within which human lives are woven, to honor the histories of place.
Your purpose might be to heal—to do the work of healing within your own life, perhaps to support others in their healing, knowing that personal healing is never separate from collective liberation.
Your purpose might be to make art that is not for sale—not because art is not a valid and valuable vocation or profession, but because maybe your reasons for making art exceed its potential market value.
Your purpose might be to reclaim pleasure that has been taken from you or denied to people who have lived as you live, to celebrate the erotic, the depth and fullness of feeling of which you are capable.
Your purpose might be to commune with the ancestors, to piece together broken genealogies, to tend relation of care across spacetimemattering, across the expanse of death and life.
And so on.
I think many of us are living in societies that have already conditioned us to believe that our work, our careers, what we are paid to do is or should be the most important thing.
I want us to think about our purpose, who we are and what we are here to do, as bigger and perhaps even other than our careers.
Again, I hope we all spend our days in meaningful ways, including in the work that we do.
And I also hope that we can see all the ways that our purpose is bigger and other than that work.