Hi friends! Welcome to the very first blog post here. 🙂 (I mean, *technically* it’s not the first blog post I’ve ever written but it is the first one I’ve written since the rebrand so we’re gonna go with that lol.)
I thought about just diving into some random blog post for the first one, but I figured it would be good to dive deeper into my own personal journey of being a good person first so we can all be on the same page!
I want to emphasize that, as of right now, I’m not convinced that my journey to being a good person is done. That’s really the whole point of this blog! But I’m also not planning on updating this exact post all the time as my journey goes on. So if you’re reading this in like April of 2025 or something, then…keep that in mind, haha. We still in 2020, yo.
Honestly, I think it’s important to document where I’ve been so far in order for the journey from here to really make sense. I don’t pretend to be an expert on being a good human and I don’t want to make myself sound like I know everything about it.
I view the past almost 22 years of my life as a lot of lessons and things that I’ve been taught about being a good person. I’ve tried my entire life to be good and to encase myself into that title, and I want to say that *overall* I’ve succeeded.
But I’ve also made a lot of mistakes along the way. LOTS. I haven’t spent every waking moment of my life in “goodness” and have certainly gone through various situations that have made me feel like I’m a lot less than good, or even okay.
Let’s dive into these things, shall we?
I definitely can’t say that I have any recollection of having some kind of an epiphany moment where I was like, “Yes! I’m a good person! High five to me!” I think it’s just been instilled in me one day at a time.
It comes from the way I was raised (because my mom is a superhero who I definitely consider to be a good person.) It comes from who I’ve surrounded myself with over the years, both good and bad. It comes from what things I’ve experienced. At the end of the day, I’ve been able to see it when I look in the mirror and see my past self and how I’ve acted.
It also comes from the fact that I firmly believe that my purpose in life is to simply be a good person. (Kinda ironic given that I run a blog that questions that entire concept, right? #quarterlifecrisisonitsway)
Something just sits in my gut and tells me that that’s all I really need to worry about in order to be fulfilled, ultimately. Now, I know that it’s really a lot more complicated than that. Your purpose is not the only way to feel fulfilled in life, in my opinion. Fulfillment can come from SO many different places and it fills so many different areas.
BUT. If I can get to the end of my life and say, “Yup, I was a good Sierra,” then I think I’ll be happy. That’s a big reason why I started this journey and want to document it on this blog! Because then I can continue to discover what that means as I still have a lot of life left to live.
In the past 4 or 5 years, though, I didn’t have this journey mindset that I do now. I had a “one path” mindset. I convinced myself that if I could do ONE thing with my life, that would give me the classification of a good person. And I really struggled with that because I’m not someone who can really do ONE thing.
You see, I’m irritatingly multi-passionate. I love soooo many things and every time someone has asked me, “Sierra, what do you want to do with your life?” I’ve had a hard time giving an answer and really believing it. (Trust me – I’ve GIVEN all sorts of answers to satisfy questions, but I’ve never actually felt *completely* in tune with them.)
When I was in high school, this struggle definitely started to pop up. I didn’t really have a problem before then, because…who cares what you have to do with the rest of your life when you’re still 12 and struggling to survive middle school? #worstplaceever
But then I got into my sophomore year, and people started asking me those tough questions. What do you want to do? What does that look like in a college major? How are you gonna fulfill your life? (I mean, honestly, who’s brilliant freakin’ idea was it to ask teenagers those questions? I’m convinced that college shouldn’t be allowed until you’re 25 and can make slightly better choices, lol.)
So my multi-passionate self went through the torture of trying to decide. I just didn’t really let anyone in on the internal struggle I was having. I changed my mind a few times but did it with a smile and lots of fake confidence.
For a very brief amount of time, I thought I was going to go into music education. I played French horn and trumpet all through middle and high school, was drum major for the marching band, and did a variety of other things that made me a massive band nerd and proud. (Fun fact: I was voted Most Musical my senior year. But I actually haven’t been very active in music since high school so there’s a pure example of living up to other people’s expectations, lolol.)
But I digress. I’ve always believed in the power of music, and how much good it can do for people. It can heal a lot of deep-rooted wounds. It can bring smiles to people’s faces when absolutely nothing else can. It can expand the brains of those who know how to play an insane amount.
I thought that teaching music as my career would be really amazing because I could do a lot of good for young people’s lives. I could make a positive impact through music. I could *cough cough* DO GOOD.
Then I remembered how much I actually really dislike children and how much I actually really dislike trying to teach things to people because I’d honestly rather just do things by myself or give people my knowledge through osmosis.
So that plan went out the window pretty quick.
My next big plan involved chemistry. GAG, amiright.
During my junior year, I took chemistry. And I freaking LOVED it. Like I was genuinely excited to go to chemistry class every day and I was pretty good at it, too. (Not that that’s super important, but my 16 year old self thought it was.)
My senior year I took AP chemistry. Still loved it. Was still good at it. I decided that it was the career path for me. But I didn’t want to be some random chemist that did lab work all day for no reason other than to get test results. I wanted to DO something with it. I wanted to HELP people. I wanted to do GOOD.
That was when I made the connection to the fact that I loved forensic science. Even now I think that forensic science is cool as shit and it fascinates me to no end. Making that connection had me believing that I would go into forensic chemistry for my career.
Forensic chemistry was my way to do what (I thought) I enjoyed and also help people. I mean, solving crimes and all that jazz! What could be better?!
After graduating high school, I attended Ohio State with a major in chemistry and a minor in forensic science. And within 2 semesters, I realized that I was COMPLETELY. MISERABLE.
Looking back, I think my love of chemistry in high school was mostly based on the concepts of it, and not the actual idea of being involved with it as a career move. I give thanks to Mr. Statler for that.
My second semester in chemistry, I hated all of my classes. I royally sucked at chemistry which just made me feel worse. I got vastly depressed. I almost failed all of my classes. Needless to say, it was time for a change.
I switched my major. It might seem completely random, but I switched to Landscape Architecture.
My entire life I’ve loved architecture. I actually still have this notebook from when I was a kid that’s filled with different drawings of houses and things that I “designed” myself. Obviously they were crap because I was a small child, lol, but I enjoyed it! I had multiple books on architecture, I adored Frank Lloyd Wright and was always pointing out cool structures.
I went with Landscape Architecture as my new major because I loved architecture so much but I also really enjoyed the idea of adding in nature. It seemed like the perfect mix! But still, I wanted to find a way to use that career to help the world, because I believe so much in being a good human.
After actually putting a lot of thought into it, I decided that I wanted to eventually use my degree to create things that would help balance the need of nature and wildlife in the world AND our ever-growing use of technology. Even now, I think that there’s such a big fight in trying to decide which of those is more important, when I think it should be more about finding a balance. I truly do believe it’s possible! (Look how far we’ve come in 200 years alone…I don’t think it’s very far off!)
But when I started my second semester in the program, I ended up hating it, too. I could feel myself slipping back into my depression. I had no desire to work on any of my projects. (One of which was actually pretty cool!) One day I cried driving to campus because I had absolutely no desire to go there.
So part way into my second semester, I dropped out. YES, I am a college dropout. Honestly, I’m not even mad about it. Even outside of my dislike for both my majors, there were many many reasons why college wasn’t a good fit for me. At least not at this point in my life.
Funny story, though: this picture below was taken when I did my final presentation for a big project. I was awake for 48 hours straight before I presented getting it done (and no, I wasn’t the only one. Procrastination could NOT be to blame, lol.) When I showed my mom this picture, her direct quote is, “From someone who doesn’t know you, you just look like you’re smiling and presenting. But someone who DOES know you like me, it’s clear that your eyes are being held up by toothpicks because you’re so tired.” LOL. It’s true, though. I was the 2nd person to present in my class and then I slept through everyone else’s. All care was gone.
Also – if there is anyone out there who’s reading this that is doing something like what I *wanted* to do with my degree described above, let me know. I’d seriously love to chat with you.
Blogging to Fulfill My Purpose
During my time as a landscape architecture major, I just so happened to start a blog. Technically, it’s this one you’re reading right now! But I started it in a very different place.
My blog was something I wanted to create since I was like 10, but for a really long time I had no idea what to blog about. After my second semester in chemistry when my mental health went straight to shit, that’s what I decided to blog about.
Because as bad as I felt at one point, I found my way out of it. I got through it. I no longer struggle with my depression consistently (although I do have days!) and my anxiety isn’t NEARLY as bad as it used to be. I created so much more joy in my life, and I wanted to help other women do the same. I don’t believe that anyone should ever struggle with their mental health for an extended period of time. It absolutely sucks.
Talking about my mental health and helping others through it made me feel like I was doing something good for the world. It gave me that *one path* that I thought I needed to have in order to be good.
After I dropped out of college, I wanted to turn my blog into a business. I thought that since I was enjoying blogging so much, I could make it that I didn’t have to work a “regular job” and that then validated my dropping out of school.
I don’t need to give all the details here, but after almost two years, 3 different rebrands (maybe 4? I don’t even know lol) and a lot of hardship, I decided that my business wasn’t what I needed to do.
I had mild success with my business. But after a while, I got so caught up in trying to build a business that I forgot the point of how I even got into it in the first place: TO HELP PEOPLE!
And if I’m not helping people even in the tiniest way, I honestly don’t want to be doing it. (That’s an overgeneralization, but you get it.) That realization kinda tied into what happened to me in March 2020 and it seemed like the perfect way to move forward with my blog in a way that felt right to me.
Now…The Big Grand Question
In March, I went through a rough break up. I won’t share all the details here because I don’t think that’s really necessary, but it was super tough! In some ways I’m still struggling through it as I write this post. But through all the hard parts, it also gave me a lot of insight into who I am and what I feel like I’m meant to provide to the world.
The whole of my breakup had me questioning if I was a good person. I felt like I had become a horrible human being for so many different reasons, and it felt like I was ripping myself away from my own identity. My WHOLE LIFE has been built on the concept of being good, so to suddenly look in the mirror and see someone who wasn’t that (at least that’s what I told myself) was terrifying.
But also very enlightening. It made me realize that being a good person isn’t always looking at yourself and just *deciding* that you’re a good person. Life throws situations at you that can make you question who you are. They can make you act differently than normal.
Sometimes you find yourself stuck in situations that make it impossible to make a choice, or you’re forced to make a choice that isn’t what you’d normally want. Sometimes there’s things you go through that have so many question marks it’s hard to answer, “What’s the right thing to do here?”
And all of those things are my point. I mean, sure, you can decide one day to be a good person, but it’s not always that easy in ACTION. (Please let me clarify something: I’m not saying that we all need to suddenly stumble down the rabbit whole of questioning our life choices or who we are. I don’t necessarily think that I’m a bad person. But I think exploring the concept and letting yourself get uncomfortable with big questions that like can be really powerful in TONS of ways. And I like that.)
My breakup was one time when I questioned my goodness. When I lost my oldest brother to suicide, I questioned how good of a person I was if I had let my own brother slip through the cracks. I’ve destroyed friendships and wondered if I was still an okay person despite the fact that I was doing “what was best for me.” The list goes on and on.
Is the businessman that wants to tear down a historical building to build a mall on the land a bad person because he’s taking down history, or a good person because he simply wants to bring new business and economy to the town?
Is the doctor who has to decide between two patients and what care they get a bad person because they let one die or a good person because they helped the other live? (And if you think that’s not a very real scenario, HELLO coronavirus.)
It’s questions like, on top of my own experiences that have given me reason to explore the concept of “good person” a lot more in depth. And I’m not a philosopher, I don’t have a college degree, and I’m not insanely smart (just a little bit.)
I’m just annoyingly curious, I think ethics are fascinating and I ask too many questions that no one has an answer to. So I figured…what’s the harm in exploring them yourself?