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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

Beginning to Understand My Purpose

By Stephanie Schilling

What does it mean to “turn over a new leaf?” The term “turn over a new leaf” is used to refer to making a new start. It’s often used specifically to describe changes in personal behavior that are made with the goal of being a better person. Much like turning the page in a good book, often referred to as a “page turner”, each page brings us closer to solving the mystery or figuring out a solution.

Sometimes we feel our lives just need some rearranging- sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. At the point we decide things have become a bit too chaotic, it’s time to turn a new leaf. We can no longer continue to take without giving, live without living for a purpose, or ambitiously wish things would change on their own. But where do we start? How do we turn over this incredibly heavy new leaf?

Most people want happiness in life. A life worth living with contentment and less suffering. Every action has a motivation behind it, whether it’s conscious or not. Be honest with yourself. What’s the problem? When we stop denying we have a problem, or better yet, accept that we are the problem-we’ll see that we can face the ginormously large issue head on. It’s not necessarily going to be easy, but it’s also not impossible. Furthermore, it’s the only way to end the viscous cycle of insanity, avoidance and undesirable behavior.

Forgive yourself and be patient. Major life changes don’t happen overnight, but when that new leaf has turned over-our resolve to change will strengthen. We’ll begin to see the fog is clearing, and the endless possibilities will be staring us in the face so brightly we’ll need a fancy new pair of shades.


I found these keys to my old car I had several years ago. I like to keep these kind of things around as reminders for me. These are the keys to my now totaled car.

I spent the night in the ER after choosing to drink and drive. Many of you know I don’t drink now, and that incident isn’t the reason, but one of many reasons I knew I had a problem.

With the holidays coming up, there’ll be lots of get-togethers and parties. If you drink, please don’t drink and drive. I don’t know why I survived that night of insanity, because so many don’t. I’m grateful I was the only one involved. Please be safe out there folks. Love yourself and others enough to give up your keys.


What if we were never afraid to try new things? To take chances. To take risks. What if we were fearless enough to let our walls down completely? What if we knew that the person on the other side would honor and love us? Would we give up our time and space to let them in?

What if we knew the chances we took would be a perfect opportunity? A chance to smile unexpectedly at the surprises and dance with wildness at the idea of life. What if we knew they truly believed the grass wasn’t necessarily always greener on the other side? What if we knew they’d been opened by life’s betrayals, rather than closed off from fear of further pain? What if we knew they were faithful, therefore trustworthy? What if we knew they were content in their own life, and loved others as well as themselves enough to receive it?

What if we knew they’d felt the weight of hate, and that day is still a giant reminder of how important it is to be kind? What if we knew they slept on their side at night? What if we knew they enjoyed new experiences and random road trips as much as they loved the smell of rain? What if we knew their smile was sincere? Just as sincere as the tears they’ve shed in pain.

What if we knew they didn’t have all the answers to life’s seemingly crazy games? Would we take a risk-a chance to disassemble our defense mechanisms in vain?