Hi I’m Emily and I want to make a difference in the world.

I recently quit my job. That’s where all good stories start, right?Emily Pettinger Candid

I spent the last year in a new city working for what I thought was going to be my dream job. Instead, I found myself discouraged and uninspired. I tried to think of jobs I could see myself in but kept struggling to answer, what is it that you want to do? 

Though I still didn’t have an answer to this question, I knew putting in my notice, not renewing my lease and heading home to the suburbs of Chicago was the right move.

I’ve spent the last few months applying for jobs. I’ve tried to fit myself into different job descriptions, box myself into someone else’s narrative, tweaked and fabricated my story, just to get a job I could barely see myself in. Then it hit me: I was probably going about this the wrong way.

It seemed like a pivotal moment. 

Thankfully, I have some amazing people in my life. I was recently reminded by a dear friend that being selfish with your happiness is OK. That creating a positive world around you is essential and that never settling is of the utmost importance.

Thus begins my quest. 

Instead of asking myself what is it that you want to do?, I recently started asking, who is it that you want to be? My answer has always been: someone who makes a difference in the world.

I’ve been told it’s not possible; to change the world. I’ve been told the world is broken and can never be fixed.

I refuse to believe this.

I have witnessed, first hand, people changing the world. I have seen the smiles and heard the laughter of children who have gone through such hardships that their happiness is a miracle. I have seen the positive impact being truly present to a friend brings. I have listened to a mother cry tears of joy knowing she will soon be reunited with her daughter who she has not seen in years.

And so I have set off to meet and know the people who are making a difference in the world. I want to surround myself with their energy and be inspired by the work they do. I hope to find a job that puts my time and energy towards something that is meaningful, passionate and bold; that makes a difference in the world.

Here’s to the people that believe changing the world is possible and who don’t believe anyone who tells them otherwise.

I hope you’ll follow along.

Read here to meet the people I’ve met who are making a difference in the world.