In a way, life is like ductwork. Every experience, encounter and endeavor serves as one piece leading to another, all for one great purpose. We may not know what it is is right away, but each of us has our own individual purpose. Eventually our duct run of achievements, failures and testimonies will help lead us to the sole reason for our very existence.

A year ago, I wasn’t quite sure what my purpose was yet. At the time I was a 22-year-old recent graduate of Howard University with a degree in marketing and an undying passion to become an editor. But I had no idea what my next move was going to be or where I was going to end up. Back then, I was completely blind to the fact that a year later I would be serving as the new associate editor of Snips magazine.

My life suddenly hit a block when I became ill immediately after graduating and was forced to return home to Michigan with my parents to seek the proper medical care. A month later I was diagnosed with dermatomyositis, a rare condition involving severe muscle inflammation and chronic fatigue.  

Although this was a very difficult time for me, I knew that what I was going through was for a greater purpose. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that there is a lesson in every experience, whether good or bad. Sure enough, there was. I began stating daily affirmations, speaking my health and strength into existence. I also became very adamant about healthy eating, implementing a strict diet of fruits, vegetables and anti-inflammatory foods. As the days went on, I could feel myself becoming stronger physically, mentally and spiritually.

And then it finally hit me — my purpose. I became inspired to start my own clothing brand and mentor program to encourage others to embrace a lifestyle of empowerment, gratitude and optimism. Something that would inform and inspire people to know that they can achieve anything they put their minds to by simply adopting a more positive way of thinking and living. I launched and completed a successful fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com (include a link to your campaign page here if you want and it’s still up), where I raised over $3,000 to help kick off my new venture. Free E.G.O. (Empowerment, Gratitude and Optimism), the name of my venture, is still touching lives and expanding to this day.

In the midst of everything was happening in my life, I continued actively pursuing my passion for the editorial field. In November I was offered an online content coordinator position here at BNP Media. From there, I was able to learn, grow and establish relationships. Five months later, I became the new associate editor of Snips magazine.

If you had asked me a year ago where I would be today, I would not even know how or what to tell you. But I’m here now. And it is my ductwork of life experiences that led me to this point.