Finding purpose amid confusion
My life has been accidental. Not to be dramatic, but even my start was an accident… well, I wasn’t planned anyway. But who has control over their childhood?
My adult life has been scattershot, too much choice equaling paralysis. The only thing I’m sure I chose with any conviction was my college major, philosophy. Even there though, I never could choose a philosophy to defend and call my own. The only one I pursued with any real enthusiasm was existentialism, that hodgepodge of thinkers who couldn’t settle on a name of their own or even agree that they were in the same school of thought.
That’s not to say I lacked conviction. Let’s get that straight. After all, I think that’s what I write about – conviction searching for direction.
Here I am, though, four years after graduation, in a city I never meant to stay in, in a job I took because it was available, waiting to hear about a job I’m not sure I should take, except that it would bring about a desired effect – the removal of me from this town. (If you are reading this, dear potentially future employer, don’t worry – I am a terrific hire. Ask anyone.)
I can feel it creeping up in me now, however. Freedom. Options. An opinion.
The past few weeks have been such a struggle. I felt like everything was cloudy – even my face was cloudy, my thoughts, everything. I was so afraid I wouldn’t make it out of that fog. Then I recognized it; I remembered that the fog always brings clarity, that the pain precedes growth. I could feel it, but didn’t know what was growing, improving. I’m blind to that stuff a lot of times.
It hasn’t cleared up entirely, but it’s so light I can tell it’s almost over. I’m beginning to know what I want now. It’s so simple, I think I probably knew before but clouded it all up with other people’s ideas, what other people wanted for their own lives, thinking somehow it would be easier to want what they wanted, that what I wanted wasn’t enough, but I realize now that none of that matters. There really are no standards for life, no measuring sticks or rulers.
What brought me out of the fog was a perfect, turbulent storm. As it got stormier, I knew I just needed to ride through it, weather it.
And finally, I was present.
I stood perfectly in that moment, though it was a sad, heartbreaking moment, and I savored it for what it was – one moment in my journey.
When I was in that tailspin, I wanted to be anywhere other than where I was. Ballerinas keep themselves from getting dizzy while they spin by focusing on one spot with each revolution. When I stood still in my moment, not wishing to be anywhere except right there, I stopped spinning. Everything was clear.
While I never really know what one day will bring after this one, I’m done living life on accident. I’m not sure what form my purpose will take, but I know what it is. And that’s enough for today.