Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting for the Purpose to Find Me

I was born with many talents. My son wows me on a number occasions with his many gifts but that exactly what I was too as a child: the best at everything – school, dance, music, social skills. I set up goals and worked hard to achieve them. I liked to challenge myself and see how far I could go. And I certainly envisioned the brightest possible future for myself.

Then how come at 32 I am stuck and feel like all those talents have vanished? I remember hearing at some TV show that “by 30 a person should know his place in life”. I think I’m more clueless than I was at 18.

One of the reasons could be that I ran out of personal challenges. It’s not that there are none endeavors left for me to take. It’s just that most of the key goals have been achieved. My education (1.5 college degrees), marriage, a child, a house, a car that I finally started driving after overcoming my fear, basic work experience. Even the country and the city of my choice that I can truly call home, with all torturous immigration procedures behind me. So when my best friend shares her many wants and unfulfilled wishes, I almost envy her, because I seem very content with all I have. My sister says that you need to have a wish that will be your guiding star in life, your incentive to keep pushing forward. I took on many ambitious dreams and actually got to live them. I guess I can now sit back and enjoy the fruit of my labor. A rather terrifying perspective...

“ If you lose your purpose ... it's like you're broken. ”
― Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

With all the “essentials” covered, it’s actually possible for me to take the time and really think of what I want to do next. The luxury not many people have since they are devoting all the precious life hours to basic survival. I almost miss my “surviving years”, because back then hard work negated all the extra thinking, so in a way it was a blissfully-brainless existence. Now that old “I’m-too-tired” is no longer an excuse for wasting my days. So I have to find this scary-elusive thing called the Purpose and get the process started. If only I had the slightest idea what exactly is my purpose in life, like some know that they are meant to be doctors, civil right activists, actors or presidents. I don’t have any clear sense of my calling so “any-work-will-do-for-now” approach has to suffice until I figure it out. My son says, “but you are such a good mom, that’s your purpose”. I don’t argue but I feel there has to be more for me out there… And we can and probably should have more than one purpose.

“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and types of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason, too.”
― Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

I know that I can live my life as it is now. If it ain’t broken, why fix it, right? But I was going at such a crazy pace in my twenties, and achieved so much, that I can’t imagine stopping now. Slowing down? – Yes. Stopping? – Never! The way life works, I know that eventually I will get some exposure to the “next big thing”, be it meeting the right person, or just being in the right place at the right time when everything suddenly shifts and you are in a new terrain, and though it’s still you, the change is now happening and you are becoming someone else.

“You're always you, and that don't change, and you're always changing, and there's nothing you can do about it.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

I’m still afraid to miss the sign, to never be shown the right door that will open for me and me only. I believe that the most important things appear more than once in different form and shape, so sooner or later you are bound to notice them and make them part of your life. But I also believe that in order for a change to happen, it must be preceded by the internal change, spiritual growth, getting in the right set of mind. Until then that whole “being in the right place at the right time” won’t happen, the important signs will pass unnoticed. Looking at things when you have all this clatter in your head is as good as living blindfold. You can see but you can’t make the connections.

So here I am at 32, thinking hard, and reading a lot, and imagining, and hitting the walls, and impatiently waiting.

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