I believe we all have a purpose in life. You’re probably thinking I’m being pretty cliche. I agree that my younger self would have already clicked off of this post. It’s almost such a classic phrase that people no longer validate it. Don’t worry, I was there too. But, to all those young Alexis’ out there, before you click off- I’m not about to tell you that your life purpose is to show people what you can do with the bad situations handed to you in life. If I’m being honest, that’s total bullshit.
In our world today, when something “bad” is handed to us, the people around us typically say that it is dealt to us because now we have a gift to help people. That really strikes a nerve. I refuse to believe that the tough times in our lives are to help others. Sure, sharing knowledge is helping those- but that certainly isn’t the purpose. I believe that the moment we are developing in the womb, we have a purpose. But in order to understand this, we must understand that there is a difference between life purpose and situational purpose.
More of Alexis’ Dictionary for the Same Word
- Life Purpose- the purpose handed to you the minute you are conceived. This is what will define your life. All events lead up to this purpose.
- Situational Purpose- The purpose for each individual significant event handed to you in your life. Plays a part in the life purpose.
For the purpose of this blog, I will be talking about life purpose. However, they are both incredibly important.
I recognize that often I ask myself what is my purpose. At one point I thought it was to play professional soccer. Then I thought it was to act and change lives with film. Then I thought it was to protect our nation with the FBI. Every single time I find something that I feel to be my life’s purpose- something gets in the way. Soccer- I broke my foot and got too many concussions, acting- I lost my love due to CRPS, FBI- they failed me on the polygraph even though I explained that my illnesses cause my nervous system to dysfunction. This eventually led me to giving up on trying to find my purpose. I felt like no matter what I did, something would rip it away and I’d be left with wondering. If I’m being honest- I feel like that right now.
What is my purpose in life? That is a question that keeps me up at night. People tend to say: Alexis, it will come. Enjoy now. The perfect job will come. Well if you are around 22, you know that there isn’t anything more irritating to hear. The other issue that I have with this discussion is: who said that our job has to be our life’s purpose. Aren’t humans more complex than that? I don’t want to be just another one of those stories of poor kids who got sick and “fought hard”. You’re damn right I fight hard, but not just to be another sick girl who got left behind. I refuse to believe that is my life’s purpose. This is until I thought a lot about my life when I got notified that I wrongfully got kicked out from the FBI. Now I’m beginning to see it clearly.
When I first got diagnosed with CRPS, I felt incredibly lonely. I felt like I was the only person in the world who had it. So there I was, 16, searching the entire internet for someone else my age who had it. I will be honest and tell you that I found quite a few. On different Facebook groups, instagram pages, and other social media. But no one really talked about it the way that I would connect with. *note that there is no one way to handle your illness. Please understand that we all need to see it differently for survival. This is by no means a judgement*. I wanted the belief that I could beat the pain and disease. I refused to give up. Yet no one told me those words: “you will fight this and continue to thrive”. That’s all my 16 year old self needed to hear. So, I gave up looking. I gave up on finding that ‘ideal’ CRPS fighter. But who said that they needed to face CRPS? Don’t I need someone who is just passionate about living no matter what? I didn’t realize that until later on. Let me give you some examples:
Tia B Stokes:
Mother of 5 and in 2020 was diagnosed with cancer. Speaks a lot about religion and gratefulness. Introduced me to affirmations and writing what I am grateful for, along with praying.
Amazing girl who had Cystic Fibrosis and passed away in 2018. Taught me to accept what I have and know that I don’t have to be pain free in order to live the life I want.
Actor, director, author, and amazing guy. He taught me that we don’t have to have a condition to live in service of others. Showing compassion and love is all it takes to connect human beings.
Dancer, director, and amazing human. She taught me that having an illness shouldn’t stop me from doing what I love. In fact, incorporating it in the art of life can make it incredible. Also, dance can be kinda cool 😉
22 year old influencer. Speaks out about LGBTQ community and anxiety. She taught me that even the people that seem to have it all together with a perfect life, just simply don’t. Everyone has something. No matter the experiences, we are all one and the same. Our struggles do not make us weird. I’m 22 and see that I’m not so behind in life thanks to Soph. Oh and new Trader Joes things of course 😉
My beautiful mother: Cathy Byers
Mother of 5 and amazing teacher. Most incredible women and person I have ever met. It feels like I can’t list everything she has taught me. My mom has taught me to be resilient. She has shown me that, yes, life can throw curve balls- but that does not mean you give up. No matter what, I need to figure it out. Even if the whole world didn’t care about me, I know my mom would forever. She is the only other person who has truly seen every step of my life and condition. She makes an effort every day to understand and she has shown me that you don’t have to have CRPS to begin to understand all it can do.
Now, what do all of these incredible people have in common? I mean I’ve spoken with every one (except Claire Wineland who passed prior to me discovering her). They are all wonderful and people that I know I can connect with any time. But what they have in common is much more specific. These people have all lived their lives how they wanted no matter what was in the way. Whether that’s illness, sexuality, gender biases, or divorce- every one of them are living to do the best for themselves. Are they perfect? NO! No way- and I don’t think they would claim to be. But that’s not the people we want to look up to in life. We want people who are real and live DESPITE the struggles.
I am sure not a single one of these incredible people thought they would teach something to a girl suffering from chronic pain. That is not in any of the cards they were dealt- yet they still managed to do it, and to help save my life.
I guess my point to all of this is that it is hard to know our life’s purpose. We do not have to connect with those who are going through the exact same thing. I think that is what led me to understanding (partially) my life’s purpose. Here is what I determined:
My life has always had a support system. No matter what I’ve gone through, I knew I had a family I could lean on. But that does not mean I haven’t gone through some tough shit. My dad left when I was only 8 (and let’s just say he didn’t go easily) and then I was given the worst pain condition known to man. But for some reason I have always known whatever I was going to do- I would help and protect those who were not handed an easy life. I believe that I was created to educate and make those feel less alone. Whether be less alone in their fight against chronic pain, or in stress, or in a single parent household. I know that just like the influencers listed above that I will help people whether they have CRPS or not. I will be the person who speaks out and shows that life can be extremely brutal and hard, but it can also be beautiful and breath-taking. I will continue to share my blog, post on Tik Tok, design a Youtube channel, and work on other (secret) projects to reach as many as I can. I will be the person that my 16 year old self was looking for. I know she would be proud. Whether we know your purpose or not, I do know one thing about you and I:
We are human beings. We are alive. We are meant to enjoy life no matter what we are going through. So do the things you love. Marry the person you love. Live where you love. I promise only then will you be able to look around and know in your heart what your purpose is. Because your purpose is built within you from the day you are born. Trust me, you won’t have to go looking for it.