Prepare For Your Purpose

Dedication: I dedicate this story to my mother. She gave me my gift of writing. She is a writer too. My mother took me to my first book festival in SC. I had the opportunity to share my poetry there for my first poetry reading. I perform my poetry, instead of reading it. I am grateful for my mother believing in my writing, since childhood. I love you, mom!

You can inspire. Learn to multitask. Be innovative. Create something from nothing. Some individuals neglect to tap into their purpose. There are a number of factors for why this happens. It can be fear, family, or finances to name a few. When people live out their purpose, they are unstoppable! I should know. I have seen this in my own life.

Life has a way of shaping us. Life can make you doubt or question your purpose. These are thoughts I had in my head for many years. Poetry prepares me for my purpose. My purpose is poetry. I do not see this initially. I try taking a different direction. My original plan never works out. I finally leave behind my failures. I fully launch into my destiny.

In my journey towards purpose, poetry becomes my safety net. I start writing at age five. By age 13, I am writing poetry. I perform it at 14. Poetry is my outlet from bullying by peers and teachers. They bully me because of slow growth in physical, female development. The bullying gives me low self-esteem. Poetry is my voice to be seen, be heard, and be known.

For each pivotal moment in my life, I write poetry. In my tough times, I write poetry. I connect with poetry on a deep level. It releases me from pain. Still, poetry appears to lack financial stability. I pursue teaching instead. In America, I am a teacher assistant. I have been an assistant for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. When living in China, my job is to be an English teacher. Still, the work I do is similar to my teacher assistant jobs in America.

I help teach two pre-kindergarten classes. The two head Chinese teachers I work with give me feedback on how to teach the students English. The teacher decides what my cleaning jobs are in the classroom. With challenging situations like this, I continue writing poetry. I acknowledge my emotions. I reflect. I embrace a new me. I learn to think positive. My relationship with poetry grows over time. Poetry stays in the depths of my soul.

I teach well. I inspire children. I give them my love, my time, and my heart. Still, poetry brings me joy abundantly. I cannot deny my love for poetry. It shows me how to make sense of the world. When returning to America, I try to get my teacher certification in SC. I never pass my exam. I took the exam ten times for ten years. That is when I decide to break free. I take a chance. I dive into poetry completely.

Last year, I got on 22 radio shows including iHeart and VoiceAmerica Empowerment. I write two poetry books. This year, I got my letter to the editor in The New York Times. There is nothing stopping me. Do not let anything stop you! Be fearless and not fearful! The only person standing in your way is you. You have the power. Plug up your life’s battery. Recharge.

Where you are is preparing you for your purpose. It may not look like it. It may not feel like it. I promise you, it is. Keep going. Keep believing. Remember your hard work is not in vain. You win if you never quit. Go for it! Your purpose is waiting on you!

Photo credit: Image courtesy of the storyteller.

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Traci Neal

Traci Neal is a Youth Author, Professional Christian Poet, and Certified Youth Speaker. Featured in The New York Times for her letter to the editor. 2nd Place Winner of Taking It Global (virtual poetry slam in Toronto, Canada). Been a radio guest for 22 radio shows for her poetry.