The Day I Found My Why

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
— Mark Twain
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We've all heard the quote about the magical day you find out why you were born. I never thought about why I was born, but I knew I was born for a reason. As a child, Dr. Seuss inspired me. I attribute much of my why to Dr. Seuss and his literature. At a young age, I took to heart his words,

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.
— Dr. Seuss

Fueled by the words of the Dr. and a few important moments, I finally discovered my why. This is the day I start to articulate my why to the world.

The Day My Father Helped Me Find My Why

I always say my Dad is a “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” My father is a wealth of knowledge, laughter, compassion and love. He wasn’t able to get all the material things I wanted, even though he tried.

Christmas Day 2000, I had no idea that would be my last Christmas in Rochester, NY. The last Christmas my Father and I would live in the same state. I didn’t know a few months later every two weeks would turn into twice a year visits. I don’t remember anything about that Christmas except for one gift my Dad gave me; a journal. Inside he wrote:

“Brittney, Soar! Soar! Soar! Never Stop Believing In Yourself. Above The Clouds - - - - Are Your Goals! GO FOR IT! Love Always, Dad.”

It wasn’t the first time in my 13 years that I was affirmed, but it felt like it. It felt like a call to action. It felt like he wrote my personal mission statement and now that I had my orders; I had to fulfill them.

This was the day my why became an action.

The Day My Mother Helped Me Find My Why

I don’t remember what my Mother and I were arguing about. I was 16 and misunderstood and at the time it seemed like the worse thing ever. I was angry for reasons therapy later helped me sort out. I don’t remember the context of the argument, but I will never forget when my mother turned around and gave me an affirmation I would never forget.

“You have this look in your eyes. You’ve always had it. I don’t understand it and it scares me at times, but you’re always going to be alright.”

I was pissed. At the time it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but later, after someone told me the exact same thing, I realized the power in her words. On that day, my Mom saw that I had the juice.

This was the day someone else saw the power of my why.

The Day I Helped Myself Find My Why

I’ve always been loud, outspoken, charismatic, and any other adjective that gets you in trouble in school. I never really thought much of it, it was clear that I had a big personality. No one in my life ever told me that it was a bad thing or I simply didn’t listen to the people who said it was. There was a whole year in high school when I didn’t talk to anyone because I wasn’t willing to change who I was. That year I read more books than ever. I drowned myself in characters and storylines and I realized that everyone was fighting for the same thing; to be themselves.

At 17 had I already mastered this? No, there were more lessons to learn, but I was on the right path. After being isolated during one of the most impressionable times in my life, I learned a valuable lesson; people will love you or hate you no matter who you are. I refused to be 300 pages of confusion to come to the end of my story and find out the answer all along was to be yourself. So I made it my mission to do just that. 

I allowed myself to try new things and think in new ways. I truly started to understand introspection and my questions became, “Who does Brittney want to be?” “What does Brittney want to do?” I realized that my parents affirmed that who I am and what I do will always be enough. I knew my story was more than self-discovery; I was mastering self-actualization. I was being myself.

I never realized until recently how radical this was. The world has programmed and conditioned us to be everything else, but ourselves. I manage each and every day to do the things that I want to do instead of what others tell me I should do. It is through this, that I discovered my why in life was to be myself and through this radical action I will teach others do the same.

August 28, 2016 at 2:54 a.m. I wrote, "This year it became clear the reason why I was born. Scariest shit ever. Now that I know, I can't ignore it." 

This is the day my why became non-negotiable.