It was winter in early 2017. My husband and I had just moved back to our home state of Michigan, after a transformative and eye-opening year in California. We had fallen in love with the Golden State but were suddenly called home by family circumstances and personal decisions. His career laid a path back and we followed, as I am thankful we have been able to do over the course of our marriage. But it meant I was leaving behind a job I had personally and deeply connected with for the first time in my life. It was hard. How in the world would I find something comparable while I supported my family? I certainly had no inkling of the story that follows...
The employment search...ugh. It was impossible to find a role 1.) as fulfilling as the one I had, 2.) at a company I was qualified to work for, 3.) offering the hours I needed, etc….. And in addition to Nate’s new job and my quest to find one, we also spent a lot of time in the car, reacquainting ourselves with Michigan and traveling to loved ones. This meant a lot of opportunities to sit and discuss ((how much I wasn’t)) finding work. I wasn’t getting selected for anything, but I was being crushed by the weight my self-imposed high standards.
It was during one of these car rides that we were having a particularly grating discussion about how much I felt like I was failing, after a fruitless, exhausting and months-long job search. Nate knows how hard I am on myself and told me he wished we could examine my potential options without the self-destruction of my confidence. I threw my hands up in the air, tearfully regarded him and said, “What we’re talking about right now—and what we continue to talk about—it is the sole reason I am unhappy.” I stopped, two words thoughtless spoken suddenly illuminated in my mind. Sole reason. Sole reason… Soul Reason?
It was an epiphany. An unavailing job search was one of the sole reasons driving my life at that moment. But that sole reason wasn’t helping me, or anyone for that matter. Most undeniably, it was the source of my unhappiness. So I took that moment to examine what did make me happy. What did I live for? My husband, my family, my values, exploring new places, bettering experiences, getting meaning and making a difference from the time I spent… These things made me, me. They pushed me forward when I had a hard time gaining momentum. They uplifted my soul. They were my Soul Reasons.
I realized that those I knew well treasured a lot of the same ideas. As humans, we love to represent what’s important to us, to be reminded of the good in our lives and to share this meaning with others. And we all have “good,” and gifts, and reasons that make us unique. But how much good are we if we don’t share these things? How would our world ever get better? And how could I make it so that these representations benefitted more souls than just my own?
There is need all around us… need for community, need for financial help, need for hope, need for positivity. At times, it is so immense that we don’t know where to start, so we just do nothing instead. I have done nothing for too long, so this is my start. Regardless of how you choose to participate, Soul Reason is a venue for you to not only share what’s important to you, but to bring visibility to causes that are important, too. It will be a place where you can donate and support and share positive vibes to uplift others. To make a difference.
Why am I telling you all this?? Because if you’re unhappy in your career, if you can’t even find a career, if you’re doubting your self worth or ideas, if you feel like you have no stability, etc. etc. etc. then you’re in a place very similar to where I was. Looking back now, I’ve truly found that the most growth and inspiration happens when I’m uncomfortable. When I’m fed up. When I take a chance. But *especially* when I look outside myself and see that there are needs greater than just my own.
We all have our own unique makeup of Soul Reasons, driven by our perspectives and our experiences. And I’m telling you right now, yours are enough to make a difference. It also takes hope, a positive attitude, and a little emotional support (Feel like you don’t have that? Well Hey👋🏼. My name’s Maddie. Drop me a message because I want to get to know you). You can do it! Just start.
My start? It was a sudden spark of inspiration born from feeling SO OVER the hard times and constant failure and disappointment. It was a dream for something better. And now my dream for Soul Reason is that it will be something good in these times, through which only more good will come. Thank you, my soul mate, for joining me in this journey, making it better—and most importantly, possible—with your dreams, too. Thank you for sharing your Soul Reasons with me and with the world.