Day Eighty-Eight (Purpose)

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So I found an image that defines my entire life right now. I just want to make a gigantic poster of this and carry it around to answer the question of “what are you doing with your life right now?” or “what is your next step now that you’ve graduated?” Anyway, that is not the purpose of today’s entry. Well, at least my entry has a purpose. Kind of. I’m figuring things out as I go.

Today, after many days of consideration and fruitless wandering, I came to an epiphany. A little click that shed a light on many of the problems that I’ve been having recently. It’s like when you’re staring at a complicated math equation and it looks like it’s written in code. Then suddenly the teacher says something that clears up whatever the issue is and all of a sudden everything makes sense. It seems so simple, so obvious, and so easy now. My problems are far from solved, but at least I have an idea of where to begin.

Purpose. When I graduated High School, I went straight into college. I ended one adventure and immediately began another. After graduating college, I’ve found myself lost. Wandering. Scared. Trying to figure out my almighty “purpose”. A reason for existing. The thing that I was put on this earth to do. My dream. My reason for getting up in the morning. What I was meant for. The answer to all of my problems. Is is Psychology? I wondered. What about writing? Or how about theatre? That’s where I found myself. Or maybe academia? It’s all I’ve ever known. What about traveling the world helping people? That sounds kind of amazing. What is it that I was meant to do?

And then, today, I realized something. I’m only 22 years old. Maybe one thing alone is not the answer. Maybe pinning all my hopes and dreams on the idea of a perfect career isn’t a viable solution. Perhaps my career and my purpose aren’t even aligned at all. When I was in High School, I loved to write. I loved to be a part of the shows. I loved my history classes. I thought people were fascinating. I liked obsessing over fandoms. When I was in college, I took up fencing. As well as getting real interested in healthcare. While still remaining passionate about singing, dancing, writing, and acting. Maybe all of these things are my purpose. Maybe I’ve been struggling so hard due to the pressure of making one single choice.

Perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way. My job doesn’t have to be my passion, necessarily. I can, and have, lived two lives simultaneously before. Maybe I can get a job but continue my passion. Maybe one day my passion can become my job. It’s more imperative (and realistic) that I continue pursuing my passion than that I immediately make it my career. It’s not easy, but it’s always been worth it.

When I graduated college, I did not only lose my career goals and path. I also lost my friends, my interests, and my passions. The reason for my current confusion is not only due to wondering what career to pursue. It is also due to a lack of purpose, a lack of passion for life, and a lack of…well, living. It’s hard to feel strongly about getting a job when it feels as though life lacks any purpose or meaning. When it feels like the only thing that will give it any meaning is a soul-sucking “job”. I haven’t been looking for my perfect job or perfect career path. I’ve been looking for something to give me meaning again. To give me purpose. To give me a reason to want to wake up in the morning. A reason to be excited about life again. No wonder my friends and family are starting to think I’m depressed.

But now that I know I can search for a job and a purpose simultaneously, without the two having to overlap, I feel far more refreshed and ready for whatever the future may bring. It feels like an adventure again. Finding my purpose feels a lot more pressing to my mental health then finding a “job”. Although finding a job is imperative to my physical well-being. But both? Both I can definitely do.

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