It’s been a little over 5 years since my last post. Sooo much has happened in that time. I went back to school and got two degrees (crazy, I know). I also changed jobs and I’m now a Woman in Technology (WiT), a fact that I enjoy, even as I’m still exploring the different career paths available in IT.
As you can imagine, there was hardly any time to seriously engage in any creative pursuits. And all the while I was asking myself: What is my Why? Why am I here now? A concept beautifully encapsulated in the Japanese philosophy of ikigai.
Ikigai can be briefly and imperfectly described in English as “a reason for being; an encompassing purpose, passion and joy which gives an individual satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.”
The only problem I have with the ikigai venn diagram (popularized by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia in their book of the same title) is the indication that you only find ikigai when your passion, profession, vocation, and mission all intersect. A toast to those who arrive at this magical place!
For myself, I have realized that my ikigai draws from a few different facets of my life that do not necessarily intersect. My profession and vocation (for now) lie in IT. Technology feeds the analytical part of my being, which enjoys grappling with and unraveling complexities. And I get paid for it.
However, I also have a mission (the most heartfelt of my handful of missions) to reach underserved populations and give them a hand up in the world. Perhaps through providing them with venture capital so they can turn their ideas into reality. Many underserved populations do not have access to the resources that would help them thrive and flourish, instead of merely getting by.
And then there is my passion, which can broadly be categorized as creativity. I never met a creative medium I didn’t like. Turning creativity into a vocation and profession, though, is no easy feat. So, for now, my passion sits in its own category, though I do get to be creative in IT sometimes. Sometimes.
So, yeah, I think I’ve finally figured out the meaning of my life. It’s taken all of my life (up to this point). I’ve decided to name it Storytelling. Within my storytelling are certain missions that I hope people will love enough to pay for. Yet I can’t help but tell these stories whether people pay for them or not. Now that’s purpose, innit?
Here’s hoping you’ve found your ikigai or that you are ikigai-adjacent. And if you’re not there yet, take heart! Your beautiful journey lies ahead of you. Godspeed!