July 20, 2015 admin

PURPOSE: I Dreamed of Grandeur

by Elisabeth Jordan

Age 30. Dallas, TX. 

All my life I dreamed of grandeur. I wanted to be somebody important. I put a lot of time and energy into daydreaming about fame.

I chased these ideals for years, even working in the music and entertainment business for a time. Then, I lost my entertainment-business job, and I was left to reimagine myself.

All my life I dreamed of grandeur.


Who did I really want to be?

During this time out of work, I reflected on my life and realized that some of the times I felt most alive had been in high school when I traveled to Peru, living off of a tributary of the Amazon River, caring for “street boys,” young boys orphaned and left to fend for themselves.

I wanted to find out how to capture the essence of what made me come alive in Peru in my hometown, Dallas.

I soon learned that Dallas has extreme poverty; whereas I had grown up in one of the most affluent areas of the city, not but a few miles away, people lived without the resources that had been handed to me my whole life.

And so I began a journey to discover this “other side” of my city. I started spending time on a street corner, near where a large portion of Dallas’ homeless reside. Soon, what began as a volunteer gig became a job.

In essence, I found my purpose, but it was not under bright lights, as I had always pictured. It was in a forgotten part of my city with people whom many of us write off.

In essence, I found my purpose, but it was not under bright lights, as I had always pictured.


I have never felt more alive or more joyful. I no longer care about “being known” because sitting on street corners with my homeless friends has given me something no years of chasing fame ever gave me: the homeless have given me themselves. And in giving me themselves, they have gifted me back myself. They have healed my insecurities by loving me just as I am. And they invite me in. Whereas so many of us spend so much time hiding – hiding behind lovely homes and pretty clothes, the homeless let me enter their darkest moments …
Now, with a small team and a new non-profit, we have the privilege of showing up at 5 a.m. to take them to rehab. We help them get into domestic violence shelters. We hold recovery meetings outside on the streets. We go to them. And, even though we aren’t homeless ourselves, we live in community with them.

I have never felt more alive or more joyful.


I would never trade this new life. Even if I didn’t do it as a job, I have realized nothing about my life would change. This is my new way of being. Yes, I still get dressed up to go to cocktail parties, and then the next morning I sweat it out in the hot sun doing life with my homeless friends. I am both people, and I have learned to love myself. What a beautiful life!

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