Interview~ What’s Your Purpose?
Following your instagram and blog brings joy into our day! We love to see snippets of your peaceful world. Can you describe why you started blogging?
Thank you so much. I love to hear my blog brings joy to your day! I tried my hand at blogging while I was attending college. I studied English and Mass communications, and blogging seemed like another good outlet for my writing. However, I wasn’t successful at regularly writing so eventually I stopped. I graduated college in May of 2014 and found out I was pregnant in February of 2015. The pregnancy was a surprise, but of course a surprise we knew God planned for all along.
When we found out about my pregnancy I wasn’t working in a writing field at all. I was working with people with physical and intellectual disabilities and trying to freelance on the side. After giving birth to our beautiful daughter in October, I researched different websites I could contribute parenting and pregnancy articles to and still get paid. Sadly, it is not easy to get paid for your hard work and writing skills. I stumbled upon Her View From Home, and I ended up writing a couple pieces for the publication.
After joining the team Facebook group, I started seeing all these other moms who blog and even make an income from blogging. There is an entire community for moms and dads who blog, and it is very supportive.
In June of 2016 I was staying at home with my daughter Aria, who was 9-months-old at the time, and I thought to myself “Hey, maybe I can make a blog that can help others and possibly provide a type of income for our family in the future.” I decided to take the leap, and now I write for the Purposeful Living Blog. In my life I strive to live every day with purpose. The goal for my blog is to inspire at least one person to live purposefully.
What was your formal training like? How did you know that you wanted to study English and Mass communications? What are your strengths in these areas? What subjects did not come natural to you?
My major was undeclared for two and a half years before I decided on English. At the time, I thought my situation was uncommon, but I’ve come to realize it’s not realistic to ask an 18-year-old what he or she wants to do with the rest of his or her life. A lot of people struggle with choosing a major or sticking with a major in college. Honestly, I hated English in high school, but in college for some reason my writing bloomed. After a couple years of taking general classes, I discovered I was actually good at writing essays and responses to literature, so that’s how I decided to major in English.
The summer before my senior year, I became worried in terms of the job market for an English graduate. I added Mass communications for the job security and fell in love with telling other peoples’ stories. I attended college for five years total in order to finish Mass communications classes and to write for the school newspaper an extra semester. In that time I interned for a local alternative weekly newspaper for a summer, freelanced for a local men’s magazine, and worked as a writing tutor at my college.
Are you working part time in addition to your blog and mothering? How many hours are you going in different directions?
Yes, I did start working part time outside of the home beginning in November 2016. I work with individuals in the community who are physically and/or intellectually disabled in order to help them live more independently. It still breaks my heart to be away from Aria about 25 hours a week, but my husband and I have a goal to purchase our first home this summer. I began working to provide extra income to save. Thankfully, my mother-in law watches Aria and I am comforted in knowing she is with family while we are away.
Unfortunately, I have been strained in the blogging department lately. When I get home from work, I want to spend as much time with Aria and my husband as possible before bedtime. I haven’t gotten a routine down just yet in terms of balancing blogging with work and family time.
What some people may not know about blogging is that there is so much more than writing a blog post and pushing the publish button. For me, I need to make sure my posts are saying something significant, my writing flows well, the links all match up, the photos look good, etc. After the blog post is published, there’s the social media aspect: the thing that gets your blog actual readers. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon are all sites the post needs to be shared to. For my blog, I also need to work on building those social media site followers as well.
As you can tell, it all can be a tad overwhelming and hard to make adequate time for. But I know a lot of fellow mom bloggers do, and I just need to work harder on scheduling the time.
You mentioned you are a young mom who hasn’t figured out your purpose yet. What has helped you find your purpose in the past? Prayer? Circumstance? Combination of the two?
After giving it more thought, it’s hard to pin-point purpose. In America, a person’s purpose is heavily influenced by what society feels is purposeful: going to college, having a career, making money, buying materialistic items. After attending college, getting a degree, and then having a surprise pregnancy, I realized my purpose isn’t based on any of society’s meanings.
My purpose in life is to love, to explore, to pray, to give, to write meaningful words, to help, to share what I know about God to others, and to take care of myself and my family. I’ve learned through tough times of self-doubt and depression, if I focus on those things that hold purpose in my life, then I’m going to live a happier existence.
Prayer has 100 percent helped me find my purpose in the past. After 21 years of living without faith and feeling like I was alone in my every day life, I let God into my heart in the summer of 2012. Today, I know I am never alone, and I always have God to turn to in prayer. He gives me peace daily.
If you fast forward 5 years,. where do you see yourself?
Five years from now I see myself writing for more parenting publications. I hope to make an income from writing for those publications as well as my Purposeful Living Blog, so i don’t have to work part time outside of the home. In five years I hope to be a steady presence at our church, and I hope to be able to volunteer more of my time to those in need.
What do you do for yourself throughout the day? What gives you peace?
I’m not very good at doing things for myself throughout the day. While I’m at work, I’m always doing things that will help those individuals succeed in their every day life, and when I’m at home I’m always doing things that will help my daughter or my husband.
I am an introvert, so I do need alone time in order to recharge. In order to bring more peace to my life, I should work on having alone time more often. During this alone time, I like to work on my blog or work on pieces for other publications. If I have more time during the day, I like to read and drink my coffee while it’s still hot!
Oh yes, Zin likes coffee hot and Gin likes iced coffee! To each her own! Jessica, thank you for sharing your thoughtful words. We cannot agree more, to live purposefully is to live mindfully and spiritually.
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