I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose, lately. As in, ‘What is the purpose of [insert activity here]?’ This question is often tied closely with a second, ‘Why am I spending my time on [activity]?’ I’m finding that I am at my most unsettled when the answer to the first is ‘I don’t know’ and the answer to the second is ‘Because I am supposed to.’ Eventually, this leads to ‘Is this what I want to do with my life?’ which is often followed up by, ‘Ack, I don’t know! No! Ack!’
I’m incredibly internally motivated and when that motivation fizzles for one reason or another (usually outside of my control), I am not a happy camper. I struggle. I overanalyze. I go quickly from ‘Well, that was pointless’ to ‘OMG, WHAT IS THE POINT OF IT ALL?!?!!?!’ I hate feeling like I’m wasting my time and I am not the most patient person. When I get something in my head, I want to go go go and anything standing in my way becomes painfully mundane. It’s even worse when the thing I want to go go go do is not possible for a while, because then I feel aimless. Without purpose. Without a specific goal to guide me or an overarching aim on the horizon, I feel like I have no idea how to best use my time, and boy, oh boy, does that stress me out.
I’m not unhappy, there’s nothing wrong, I just… lack purpose right now, and that unsettles me badly. There’s no pressing deadline, life is just kind of in limbo, and I’m struggling to get ok with that. I expect this feeling is why some people take to religion so strongly, as it must be nice to believe that someone out there has a plan, but I am not a faith-having person.
I suspect part of this bleakness is due to cabin fever. We’ve been snowed in for weeks and the monotony of home-to-car-to-work-to-car-to-home would get to anyone, eventually. I miss the sun and walks in the woods and I sadly do not have the constitution to go hiking in 15 degree weather just for fun. (For a specific purpose, though, I could do it. Cue the need to find a job in the field.) In lieu of racking up credit card debt to fly somewhere warmer, I’ve been trying to brainstorm other ways to alleviate this ennui, such as volunteering with the local Nature Conservancy chapter and giving meditation the old college try. (Anybody have advice on where to start re:meditation?) And in true knitter fashion, I’ve self-imposed a gift knitting deadline just to try to keep me on my toes.
Are you someone who needs A Purpose (capitalized, of course) to feel content? How do you deal when your purpose is altered, unclear, or put off for a bit?