Searching for Purpose
Probably the most misunderstood part of my opening post was saying I felt "a general feeling of pointlessness". After several extremely uncomfortable conversations, I realized the way I intended this statement was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay different than the way it was interpreted. What I probably should have said was I didn't feel like I had a purpose in my life. To summarize:
"Life is pointless" = Scary statement, maybe you should be committed to a mental health facility.
"I don't feel like I have a purpose" = Oh, maybe you should get a hobby or something.
I don't feel like I've been doing things that are my life's purpose for the past few years. When I was working as a college counselor, I viewed my purpose as helping people with their education. Although my feelings about that job have changed in recent years, it still served as my purpose for nearly a decade. As a delivery driver, I don't look to my job to provide purpose, but I also haven't been looking outside of it either.
I believe there is a distinct difference between career and purpose. I'm not just going to wait until I start a new job to look for things that help me find purpose. This way if I fall into something I don't love doing, I won't continue to feel like I don't have purpose beyond my work.
Writing is something I love to do. When I get into a good rhythm I can do it and feel good about it for weeks at a time. It is also something I fall out of for months, sometimes years, at a time. I'm hoping starting this blog and sticking to less frequent posting schedule than I've done with my other blogs will help me stay engaged.
When writing topics dry up or writer's block sets in, I can't just let myself feel purposeless again. That's why I think I also need more hobbies. I write because I like to create. Unfortunately, I'm a terrible artist. I press way to hard when I use a pen/pencil. This seems like it should be easily correctable, but somehow in 38 years I've never managed to fix it. However, I do want to do something slightly artistic. A few weeks ago, I invested in a Dremel tool for woodcarving. The picture accompanying this post was my first carving project. I don't know why I'm drawn to carving. A few years ago, I bought a rotary tool to put some holes in a plastic bucket. Since then, I've just wanted to buy a better one and try my hand at carving.
I don't think creative hobbies are the only things that will help me find purpose. I'm not sure what else I'll do but I'm considering things like volunteering, maybe for an animal shelter or a food bank. Just like my plan for fixing my finances, I'm going to do some reading (actually listening) on the subject of finding purpose in life. My first audio book for this part of "solving life" is going to be:
Again, to clarify, my life is not "pointless". I just feel like a need to find my purpose(s). Mom, you can sleep at night without having to worry. I didn't start this blog to write about giving up. It is about finally trying to find my way rather than just hoping things will fall into place.
What things make you feel purposeful in life? Have you ever had to go through a time of searching for purpose? What books, tools, or tips helped you? Let me know in the comments.
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Randy Miller is on a quest to move his life along the scale from completely sucking to sucking slightly less to potentially sucking very little. He isn't really sure how he'll do this, but maybe writing about it will help.
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