My Purpose is Not My Own

Have you read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren?

I started it a year ago, and didn’t get far. Mostly because my attention span for reading has dissipated to almost nothing. I don’t get too many free chunks of time these days, and when I do, I want fast and easy entertainment like puzzle games on my phone or happy Arashi variety shows.

I started it up again a couple of weeks ago (Purpose Driven Life) and have been stuck on the first chapter this entire time. The way the book is written, the reader is meant to read one chapter a day, contemplate and absorb and focus on the Word and all that. Last time, I must have gotten at least 15 chapters in, but maybe I rushed because it didn’t stick.

Well now it’s sticking. I haven’t gotten past the first chapter, which reminds and reinforces the truth that my purpose isn’t my own. It’s God’s.

I’m in a state of mind where I need this every day now. I was getting confused for a while. Social media made it worse. So many “uplifting” stories about perseverance and dreams and work hard and exercise and just do it and God is good… and you know what? I had to mute all that shit. Which included some friends, even. Because it had me questioning my purpose. Like, I wasn’t doing my part by using the gifts God gave me because I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do. And if I don’t follow my dreams (which I don’t even have) then I am wasting it all away and life cannot be complete. So I have to find my dream and look for clues of my gifts so I can utilize them for His purpose and then my life can be whole… It was a vicious cycle. And it was fucking me up. Guilt, confusion, and despair. That’s what I ended up with. Not joy. Not a sense of purpose. Not ecstacy in God’s plans.

Now, let me clarify, I wasn’t, nor am I now, envious of anyone’s success. I am genuinely happy for anyone who is loving the path they are on, fired up by their dreams, and doing great things in their lives. But I don’t dream of success in that way. I am so pessimistic that all I think is more success is more stress. Fame is less than freedom and more responsibility. Too much wealth is worrisome and and a burden. So any “envy” I felt wasn’t geared towards that.

Did I feel envy that some people seemed to have found their purpose? Yes. I was envious of that image of completion that they gave off. I was envious of the peace they must feel having something to strive for. And I do not think anyone has it “easy.” No one. Everyone has their own struggles, and it is a beautiful thing to celebrate life when you’ve reached high points.

I just happen to be stuck in a low point right now.

But back to my purpose… reminding myself daily that my purpose isn’t my own has made the days softer. I don’t know what I’m here for, but God knows. So even if I can’t see past tomorrow right now, it’s okay. It sucks balls, but it’s okay.

You know, there’s this thing about how “special” we all are. I see it a lot in children’s books and again, social media. Uplifting messages about how we are each unique. If you believe in God, then about how God created YOU to be you. If you believe in something else, then that the universe came together to form YOU. YOU were made to do anything you set your mind to. No one else in the history of mankind is like YOU. So how special is that? We are soooo amazing, right?

Bullshit.

We don’t all make it. Some of us were created for sorrow. For pain. For confusion. Some die too young. Some live forever lost. Some have shining moments and burn away. Some faded before they ever materialized. If we see ourselves through our own lens, then there are those of us that cannot wholeheartedly embrace that message of “I am special.” It is too much pressure.

BUT… for me, the joy in God is that somewhere down the line, after we are long gone, THERE it is! We may not see it in our lifetime. But it’s there. A purpose. So I may not be special in this world. You may not be special in this world. But we aren’t purpose-less. We are special to God. So for me, my hope is that my existence makes my daughters strong. And their strength will carry onto their children. And maybe, somewhere down the line, my great great great grandchildren will be like, THERE it is! (I mean, sure, it’d be cooler if it was in my kids’ lifetime, but I’m a pessimist, so I don’t think so…)

That’s what I believe, anyway.

It is, I know, convoluted and contradictory, but how else can it be? We are built from the past, the present, and the future. There is no straight path.

For me, now, it is enough. Maybe I’ll get to Chapter Two today…

If you are struggling too, then know that I’m with you. And know that I don’t have any uplifting thing to say, because right now, where we are at, it sucks balls. And that’s it.

Unplanned

I had to smog my car today. It was put off for too long.

Afterwards, I ran through the list of things I (thought) I had to do. Something I could squeeze in real quick since I was already out. Bring home breakfast. Get this week’s groceries.

And then I realized I had to see my dad. He’s been gone 20 years. I don’t visit his graveside as much as the early days. And rarely by myself. Always bringing my mom and my sis. I just needed his peace today.

I am exhausted. I am tired. That sounds redundant, but truly, I am being worn to the ground.

Normally, it takes a few tries to find his stone. I never bothered to remember the exact location. I just walk up the slope about 500 yards, look at which of his neighbors are nearby, and adjust accordingly. Today, I parked, I walked, and in a single line, he was there. I was surprised. Like running into someone on the street just as you’re thinking about them.

Crows are perched atop the trees surrounding us, chattering to themselves. A family nearby has come to burn incense, which smells nice. They are not mourning, which sounds nice. Three baby coyotes are chasing birds in the distance. Maybe they’re not babies, I can’t really tell from here.

I can write here… about nothing. I can sit here… and not think…

I just feel a cool steady breeze, with a touch of a chill. No sun yet, even though summer is weeks away.

I don’t even talk to my dad. I think, if he were still alive, it would be that way too. I would just sit with him on the couch and just be in silence together. Without pressure to talk about something. Without planning anything. Without criticizing anything. Without worrying about anything. Just us, some coffee, him with a newspaper and me with my phone.

It is May 15, 2021. The time is 10:27. And I am ready to go home now.

Thank you, Daddy.

I love you. I miss you. I feel your hand on my head. I hear you. Don’t give up.

Mother’s Day 2021

Last Mother’s Day, I wrote a private post about how I have no interest in Mother’s Day. I complained about not being able to relish the holiday because of 45 and the plague. I was tired. That’s the watered down explanation. It was private for a reason.

This Mother’s Day… well… it’s much the same, I think. At least on a personal level.

We have a much better President now, and we have a much better hold on COVID, but my feelings towards Mother’s Day, and all such holidays, remains ambivalent.

I’m getting all the texts and messages and I know I should respond and rally with all the moms and celebrate what we’ve accomplished and enjoy our children and all that, but… eh.

Certainly, I am the weird one. I know. On the surface, I appear easy-going, taking life as it is, always looking at the “big picture,” and faithful to God’s plans for me.

But I am actually deeply cynical. Death and illness are always shadowing me. I don’t fear it, but I never stop thinking about it. What happens if so-and-so dies, what next?

That’s actually why I am so laissez-faire. I feel like I have no control, so I don’t bother exerting control, because if I put my own desires and hopes into something, they’ll likely just get dashed anyway. There is no point.

This is why Gudetama is my soul egg.

BUT… while I don’t feel confident in myself, I absolutely 100% believe in it for everyone else. I believe in other people’s dreams, I am in awe of those who have achieved much, who dream big, and who can find their calling. Sometimes I am jealous, but only in the sense that I can’t muster up the joy and energy for myself that other people are seemingly able to.

My life is good. It is blessed on so many levels that have nothing to do with me. I am a good daughter. I am a good mother. I am a good wife.

I continue on because that’s what we do.

But Mother’s Day is not a celebration for me. It is a reminder of all that I have to do. All that I haven’t done. All that I can’t do. It makes me feel broken, because I don’t celebrate with flowers and smiles and social media posts. It is just another day, but one where I feel like I have to pretend extra.

Whatever… Let’s just get on with it.