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I was awe struck as I walked into my little appartment last night. I had just climbed out of the shower and was going to settle into bed to read for a while before drifting off to strange and erratic dreams when I heard a noise below. The cats were settling in to bed. The lights outside filtered through the wooden slats covering the window, eluminating the room with a pleasant, faint glow. I couldn't help but to smile, remembering fondly the wonderful memories I've already made in that room with my own friends and lovely little pets.

I climbed down from the loft to fetch myself a bottle of water. I walked through my very own living room and saw the computer on the desk still open to a project for work. I had managed to feel highly successful yesterday in the mid-year meeting and was ready to attack my job with a new sense of purpose and determination. My smile grew for reasons I couldn't yet share. Oliver jumped down from his carpeted tree and nuzzled my bare leg.

I've been in some hard spots, and I've had a really hard time trying to find my place in this world. Even now it's a daily struggle for me, but I know where I'm meant to be. I know what I want to do for my career, and getting there has been a challenge, it's one I'm eager to face every day when I wake up. I look forward to going in to work. Even now that path isn't guaranteed, but I know that I'm well on my way and I have a support system greater than any I've ever known. And yet, as I walked through the appartment last night, I realized something that maybe I had known all along and just hadn't realized.

I have my home. It's the first time I've felt like I belonged somewhere and had my own place in my entire life. I belong here. This is my sanity, my safety, and my savior. My career has just begun and I have great plans for my direction, but I have everything in my life that I've ever really searched for - stability, self-sufficiency and confidence.

This was an eye opening walk through my own place. I found something in the past year I guess I never really lost - my inspiration and my soul. They've just been waiting for me to realize that all I had to do was reach out for them, held captive in the recesses of my own mind. If not for people like my boss, friends and co-workers who have stood by me in this most difficult time, I may never have taken this walk to the kitchen on this warm and humid night in my house coat and slippers and seen the magic of my own home around me. I wouldn't have that glorious appartment. I wouldn't have my two cats, warm and friendly, loving and giving. I wouldn't be where I am in this world, with dreams, desires and determination to not only succeed, but to conquer.

Yes, I am still me. I am that vibrant, energetic little girl I knew growing up. I'm that sassy, somewhat crazy redhead I knew in my teens. I'm that young, ambitious adult I knew in my early 20's who saw the world as nothing but a game to win. I'M BACK, and nothing can stop me this time.

My job has opened new doors to meeting new people and trying new things. I've become more empowered than ever before, and after so many years of searching and never knowning, I've found my niche. I've found where I belong.

I've finally found my purpose.

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