When I was 16, this girl at a leadership camp we both attended said at the end of our week about me “There’s just something about Michelle. You can tell just by being around her that she’s going to do something really great.

Every day since that day, I’ve been wondering— BUT WHAT?  

So I went into teaching. Because I loved kids, and I loved working in a place where my work made a difference in real time and in the future. I went to college, and got all the degrees, and all the credentials and all the labels that said “Teacher.”

Being a teacher seemed like it was going to be a really great thing. Probably THE Thing. Except it wasn’t. Not then, for me, anyway.

I put in a solid and commendable effort too. Eleven years in Elementary Education including a three year stint in School Administration, and then five semesters as a College Professor. And I was a good teacher. I made a difference. I know I did great work.

But instead of lighting me on fire, it was burning me out.

So eventually, slowly, I found a way out of it. All the way out. I cashed out every single cent of my retirement and sunk the entire sum into business with two men with whom I was to build a business I knew just enough about to get excited, but not enough about to make any actual money.

It was like a third round of Graduate School, and the most expensive one to date. I learned a lot. I tried new skills, I got a chance to reinvent myself, and I got 100 steps closer to,

The Thing.

But it wasn’t the Thing. It was just another part of my path to Me. I started writing for myself, and sharing it. I found my yoga practice and community. I completed nearly 500 hours of Teacher Training, spent 10 days in service in South Africa, went into deep inquiry, and finally, and again, came to the conclusion that my purpose in life is quite simply —

To be of benefit.

And there are whole lot of ways I can do that. So many. So, so, so many. Perhaps it’s time I stop looking for a job that actualizes this, and consider that maybe the Thing, is not actually a thing at all.

Maybe it’s a way of being, of interacting with my world and the people in it and empowering others to be the best version of themselves by being the best version of myself. Maybe it’s taking whatever job I have, and making it amazing for no other reason than because I can. What if the great thing that I do is to live my life fully, to share my stories, and to inspire others to do the same?

What if the thing, the really great thing that I do, the thing that that girl saw in me? What if it’s just,

Being me?


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6 thoughts on “THE THING

  1. Jason Perrone says:

    Yes, that is it Michelle! I love it!!! Just be you and the world will be a better place for it! 😘

    – Jason Perrone

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