- What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far (that makes you proud)?
My greatest accomplishment thus far would have to be attending and graduating from college. As a kid, school came very easy to me. I am a person who thrives off of regiment and structure, both of which are engrained in our school system, so grade school was very comfortable for me. College was the first time in my life I encountered real autonomy, and I struggled tremendously with it. It was the first time I was solely responsible for my time and my schedule. It was the first time I was forced to really think and analyze, instead of just memorize and regurgitate. It was the first time I wasn’t rewarded for just showing up. It was the first time I was forced to figure out what I believe and defend those beliefs. College provided me with many of my adulthood “firsts”. I’ll never be done growing and learning but it was the first significant hurdle of my life. College was a real growing and pruning process for me, not just academically, but socially and spiritually as well, and to be able to say that I endured and passed that process is something I’m extremely proud of.
- If money weren’t a factor in your life, would you be doing something else (to make a living)?
Absolutely! Right now I’m not where I want to be professionally, but I’m taking steps to make my passions and my profession to correspond.
- Could/Can you deny your purpose?
I believe your purpose is something that is innate. Its embedded like your DNA. Purpose will always be a part of who you are. It unexplainably brings you the feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction. I also believe that your purpose can manifest itself in different ways. I don’t believe that you always have to do or be one certain thing in order to be fulfilling your purpose. However, I do think the things you do, in order to fulfill your purpose, will connect and intertwine. Finding your purpose can be a scary thing because purpose has such a vast connotation to it. So I think it’s an easy thing to try to deny your purpose once you’ve identified it. You can run from it, pretend it doesn’t really interest you, and act like you don’t have those feelings inside. On the surface, you can deny and avoid your purpose, but internally you are at war. I don’t think you can ever fully deny your purpose.
- What always excites you?
I feel my best when I am involved in service. I have always enjoyed community service activities and “behind the scenes” work. I feel my best when I have helped someone else fulfill a need.
A close second to that would be music. Music is another language to me. Lyrics and genres aside, music always communicates and emotes where we are as people in society. I love how different music is influenced by each other and I love hearing those influences and learning about how in turn, music shapes our society as our society shapes and is reflected in music. Music is an integral part of my self-care routine, and always makes me feel alive and peaceful at the same time.
- What do you want to explore more?
Currently, I’m exploring where my interest and occupation can be combined. I want that professional dream where work doesn’t feel like work, where I do what I love, and get paid for it, and I’m exploring what training I need to do – what moves I need to make in order for that to happen.
Describe your process to discovering purpose.
Discovering purpose is a continuing process for me. I know what fulfills me and makes me happy, but I feel the need to figure out how to incorporate that into more than just my leisure time.
Interviewee: Valerie Wilbon
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