Rediscovering My Purpose, On Purpose

Gretchen Lee Bourquin
4 min readDec 20, 2023
Photo by Danica Tanjutco on Unsplash

I am sitting here right now because I promised myself I would. When I was a child, I had no doubt that I would be a writer. I was a writer. As soon as I could spell I would fill notebook pages with stories, poems, and sometimes songs. I would watch award shows and dream that maybe somehow I could be part of all that. I didn’t want to be on stage, but I wanted to play a role. I wanted to have something I created, or contributed to have a part in something bigger, something important. Something that mattered.

But how can you create something that matters, unless you matter first?

I was a good kid for the most part. If I was in trouble, it was either because I had made a mess, failed to clean it up properly, showed up late somewhere, or had my head in my writing when it was supposed to be somewhere else.

I loved learning, but I didn’t feel like I was learning much, hardly ever. Writing was so much more important. Some teachers caught on that what I was writing most of the time was not notes for their class, but dialogue in my story. The characters I created were better friends to be than most of my classmates. If they had something to say didn’t I owe it to them to help them say it before it was lost?

My rebellious writing went on far beyond school. When I worked in office environments, I would keep a small notes program in the corner of my screen and/or post it notes at my desk. I would write lines of poems, snippets of stories and email them to myself so I could tweak them later. I always seemed to come out of the gate strong at work after my initial training, but I got more and more bored. My wandering mind made me miss things, and I would be forced out to start over. I never moved up. I was a serial entry level worker, until I wasn’t.

I was fired from my last long term corporate desk job over thirteen years ago for productivity and accuracy issues. Thank you, undiagnosed ADHD.I had just started to dabble in blogging online, so I started writing more for small amounts of pay. My mind could go wherever it wanted as long as I met deadlines, and my work was coherent. I went on some interviews, but interviewing was, and is a terrifying thought. Sitting in front of a potential future boss to tell them how I was important and what I could bring to the company goes…