Whether you believe in the idea of a “soul’s purpose” or not, it is an unavoidable turn of phrase that can create intrigue and wonder, but what does it actually mean? If you ask the leading search engine, it comes back with statements such as ‘why you’re here on this earth at this time’ and ‘an aspect of life that drives you and moves you forward – if you know your soul’s purpose, you’re content with life’.
So, whilst I feel like these statements are true to me and my journey, that’s not to say they will resonate with you. Because let’s face it, if we all had the same beliefs there would be no room for debate and discussion and that would make this world a less interesting place.
Whatever you do believe, let me ask you one question. Have you ever felt like something is missing? I’m not talking about material things, I am not asking about being happy or unhappy. What I am asking is, have you ever felt like something is missing? But that thing is a blank, almost like it is a mystery that might never be solved?
If you have ever had this feeling, I think we have something in common. I had a gaping black hole for as long as I can remember. I was in a successful career, doing what I thought I was meant to do (which I later realised was actually something I was good at, which isn’t the same thing). I had been on the common path; school, college, university, placement, full time job and I kept climbing the ladder, but the ladder to where? It certainly wasn’t a ladder to happiness and the mystical land of contentment. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job but this black hole got bigger and bigger and no matter what I did, I couldn’t fill it.
But there were signs that I missed. I’d always had a pull towards using my hands and creating things but my role, although a creative one in Public Relations, didn’t hit the spot. I used to refer to myself as a “frustrated creative” and I would try lots of hobbies to get rid of my frustration and fill that void. Nothing worked and every single time I started something new and didn’t feel the pull to continue, I would feel like a failure and the hole would somehow get bigger.
But how was life outside of work? How was my life generally?
I love being outdoors and love pushing myself physically with things like mountain biking, windsurfing, horse riding, rock climbing, sailing…the list goes on. But I have always considered these things as extracurricular hobbies. It wasn’t like I was just trying to vacate reality and do something “fun” for a living, it was much deeper than that.
I felt lost and like I was always searching for the impossible.
That was until very early 2019 when I suffered bereavement and it put my life under a grey cloud. This didn’t make me suddenly realise what I wanted to do but it did make me more determined to find my true calling. It also made me search for positive distractions.
I had always wanted to try silversmithing and I searched for evening courses but the only one was an hour away from home and it was fully booked. Typical. I filled out a form for the waiting list and forgot about it, it wasn’t meant to be. Fast forward to my birthday in August 2019 and I received an email telling me that a place had become available. Logistically, it was a bad idea as I had no childcare and would need to leave before my husband finished work. He is in the RAF so, let’s face it, there was never any consistency when it came to his working hours. I didn’t have any family closer than 220 miles away – basically the decision should’ve been a firm no and move on. However, I decided to listen to the signs and not ignore them any longer.
I am fortunate that being a military spouse meant that although we were miles away from our family network, I had managed to surround myself with the most supportive and empowering friends. One of them insisted that I do it and she would help me with my two boys.
So, one cold evening in October 2019 I walked into the workshop at 6pm feeling nervous, overwhelmed, excited, and a bit like a rabbit in headlights. I looked around at the sheer number of tools and thought, WOW! I will never be able to learn what all of these do, but after just one session, my soul lit up and I just knew this was it. It was the thing I had been searching for my entire adult life. I told my tutor there and then that this was what I was going to do, I was going to become a full-time silversmith. Let’s just put it into perspective, I hadn’t even really touched the tools that evening but something inside me came alive and I was physically and emotionally invested and fully focused for the first time in what felt like forever.
I went back each week, eager to try as many techniques as possible and learn as much as I could possibly learn in a short space of time. I finished the course in December 2019 and set up Soul Purpose Jewellery the week that we went into our first lockdown in March 2020. I didn’t rush into it because I am impulsive, but because I knew this was the start of a very long and exciting journey and that the sooner I started the better. After all, I felt like I had wasted so much time already!
It’s not all been plain sailing. I have met all of the usual business villains; self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and actual full-blown failure! I have made mistakes and had days where I have been sat thinking – maybe I should’ve waited. However, it is true what they say – every failure is a step to success. I have learnt to not fear failure and to stand up and shout about my journey as much as I can. I do this because it’s important to me to believe that if there is just one person who feels as lost as I did who comes across my story and takes a leap of faith. I feel like it’s worth every word and every piece of emotion that I pour into each and every single that thing I create.
I decided on the name of my business based on the fact that I have finally identified the void and truly believe that I have finally found my Soul’s Purpose.
About the Author
Suzanne Pattinson Runs ‘Soul Purpose Jewellery‘ . Her Instagram page is full of beautiful jewellery and insights into her daily life. Go and check her out! 👇