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Finding Purpose at 30,000 Feet

Two Chance Encounters, Two Women, One Path to Making a Difference

By Zorica MalicPublished about a year ago 5 min read
Finding Purpose at 30,000 Feet
Photo by Sam McNamara on Unsplash

As the plane took off and soared high into the sky, Jenna felt a mix of excitement and nervousness. She was heading to a conference in a different state, and although she had traveled for work before, this time felt different. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but she felt like this trip was going to be a turning point in her life.

As she settled into her seat and watched the world shrink below her, Jenna's thoughts drifted back to the various stages of her life that had led her to this point. She thought about her childhood, growing up in a small town with a supportive family. She had always been an ambitious child, driven by a desire to succeed and make her parents proud. Her teenage years had been a little more tumultuous, marked by a rebellious streak that sometimes got her into trouble.

College had been a time of self-discovery for Jenna. She had thrown herself into her studies, but had also explored her creative side, taking up painting and writing. It was during this time that she had also become interested in activism and social justice, and had started volunteering at a local community center.

After graduation, Jenna had landed a job at a marketing agency in the city. It was a demanding job, but she enjoyed the challenge and the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients. However, as the years went by, Jenna began to feel restless. She started to question whether this was really the path she wanted to be on, or whether she was simply following the expectations of others.

And that was why she was on this plane today, heading to a conference on women's leadership. Jenna had been feeling adrift and unsure of herself, and she hoped that this conference would give her some clarity and direction.

As the flight attendants came around with drinks, Jenna struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to her. Her name was Olivia, and she was a consultant who traveled frequently for work. They chatted about their respective jobs and travels, and Jenna found herself drawn to Olivia's confidence and poise.

At one point, Olivia asked Jenna a question that caught her off guard. "What do you want to be known for?" she asked. Jenna hesitated, not quite sure how to answer. "I'm not really sure," she admitted. "I feel like I've been so focused on climbing the career ladder that I haven't really thought about what I want my legacy to be."

Olivia nodded thoughtfully. "I know what you mean," she said. "It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and lose sight of the bigger picture. But it's important to remember that our work is just one part of who we are. There's so much more to life than just our jobs."

Jenna thought about this for a moment, and then something clicked inside her. She realized that she had been defining herself solely by her career for too long, and that it was time to explore other aspects of herself.

Over the course of the flight, Jenna and Olivia continued to talk about their lives and their dreams. They exchanged contact information and made plans to grab coffee when they were both back in town.

As Jenna stepped off the plane and headed to the baggage claim, she felt a sense of clarity and purpose that she hadn't felt in a long time. She realized that she didn't have to have everything figured out right now - that part of the beauty of life was in the journey of self-discovery.

She knew that there would be challenges and obstacles along the way, but she also knew that she was capable of overcoming them. And as she walked out of the airport, she felt a renewed sense of hope and possibility.

Jenna and Olivia kept in touch after their flight, meeting up for coffee a few times and occasionally checking in with each other over email. Jenna found that she looked forward to their conversations - Olivia had a way of asking thought-provoking questions and offering insights that helped Jenna to see things from a new perspective.

One day, as they sat in a cozy café sipping lattes, Olivia asked Jenna a question that would change everything. "So, have you given any more thought to what you want to be known for?" she asked.

Jenna smiled wryly. "I have, actually," she said. "And I think I've figured it out."

Olivia raised an eyebrow. "Do tell," she said.

"Well," Jenna began, taking a deep breath. "I've been thinking a lot about my passions and my values, and I've realized that what I really want to do is work in the non-profit sector. I want to make a difference in the world, you know?"

Olivia nodded, a small smile playing at the corners of her lips. "I had a feeling that's where you were headed," she said.

Jenna was surprised. "Really? How did you know?"

Olivia leaned forward, her eyes sparkling. "Because you light up when you talk about it," she said. "I've noticed that every time we've discussed your volunteer work or your activism, your whole face just comes alive. You have a passion for social justice that's impossible to ignore."

Jenna felt a warmth spreading through her chest. It was true - every time she talked about her volunteer work or her involvement in local politics, she felt a sense of purpose and fulfillment that she had never quite found in her career.

"So what's your plan?" Olivia asked.

Jenna took another deep breath. "I'm going to start looking for opportunities in the non-profit sector," she said. "I know it's going to be a big change, but I'm ready for it. I want to feel like I'm making a difference, you know? Like I'm actually contributing something to the world."

Olivia smiled encouragingly. "I have no doubt that you will," she said. "You have the drive and the passion to make a real impact."

Over the next few weeks, Jenna threw herself into researching non-profit organizations and networking with people in the field. She felt a renewed sense of purpose and energy, and she knew that she was on the right path.

It wasn't always easy - there were moments of self-doubt and frustration as she navigated a new industry and learned to advocate for herself in a different way. But every time she felt discouraged, she thought back to that conversation with Olivia in the café and reminded herself why she was doing this.

Eventually, Jenna landed a job at a local non-profit that focused on community development and affordable housing. It was a challenging and rewarding job, and Jenna felt like she was finally making a real impact in the world.

Years later, as Jenna reflected back on her journey, she knew that it all started on that plane ride with Olivia. Meeting someone who saw her potential and believed in her was a turning point in her life, and she was grateful every day for that chance encounter.

She also knew that her path wasn't set in stone - that there would be other turning points and new discoveries along the way. But she felt confident that as long as she stayed true to her values and followed her passions, she would always find her way forward.


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About the Creator

Zorica Malic

"No one has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don't have, but to joyfully use what they have." Seneca

"How long will you wait before you demand the best for yourself?" Epictetus

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (2)

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  • Kayla Lindleyabout a year ago

    So I felt like this could've been a real situation rather than it being fiction is that true? If so well done.

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