So, what am I supposed to do with my life?
That is a question I’ve been asking myself since I was a teenager.
I get increasingly frustrated by the answer that comes immediately to mind:
I DON’T KNOW.
Mr. Hand calling out Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High for his tardiness is funny: “’Mr. Hand, will I pass this class?’ Gee, Mr. Spicoli, I don’t know!”
Like I said, Mr. Hand is funny.
My soul and my being not knowing what my purpose is for so long?
Not so much.
Throughout every stage of my life, while I might not have had a gut instinct as to what my purpose was, I’ve at least had goals or an outline of what I wanted to accomplish. I adapted to change, made the best of bad situations, and learned as I went along.
I’ve been successful in my careers, both present and past. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have had, the skills I have mastered, the knowledge I have learned, and the lessons I have been taught by pretty much everyone who has been a part of my journey so far.
Despite all of that, I still feel that there’s something more I should be doing.
So the question remains:
What am I supposed to do with my life?
This feeling of floundering was evident in my word for 2015: DIRECTION.
Yes, I did find some direction. The fact that you are reading this is proof of that, as SoulSEAker was created to help me find my way.
This year, I chose the word DETERMINED as my word of the year. As all good little bloggers and writers do in this age of Zen, Mindfulness, and Intent, I penned a list of 6 personal goals I hoped, rather I was DETERMINED to accomplish.
Afterwards, I really thought about each one of those goals, and this is the first time I am admitting this:
I was full of shit.
Coming up with strategies and lists and doing things I don’t enjoy, just to say I accomplished what I set out to do, is asinine and a complete waste of my time.
Let alone I already have difficulty with daily responsibilities and tasks because of my health, now I was devising goals I didn’t believe in to take up more of that time I spoke of yesterday, time that I vow not to waste anymore?
What the hell was wrong with me?
I guess that since I’ve always had goals and outlines, I thought I HAD to have them.
Then it hit me.
With a rigid goal or plan, I am not open to new ideas or new avenues of discovery, which might lead me to what my purpose truly is. I’m just checking off boxes on a list, and the reward is that I can say I was, in fact, DETERMINED. I can then buy myself a trophy and take myself out to a celebratory meal at Roy Rogers. Big deal.
I’m not promoting irresponsibility at all here, and I in no way mean to belittle the importance of being determined. I’m not knocking mindfulness or intentions, either, as I believe in both. Sometimes true experiences are concealed by buzzwords and media chatter.
Rather, for the first time in my life, I saw the importance of just letting things happen as they do.
I abandoned my strategies and checklists, and became OPEN to what the year will bring me instead.
Once I did, life became less stressful and so much more enjoyable.
OPEN. The perfect word for me.
Then something happened.
I noticed the first “sign,” so to speak, shortly after declaring OPEN to be my new word.
Then the next appeared.
The forces of the universe, in definite cahoots with SHE, are having a lot of fun at my expense, and I’m absolutely loving every minute of it.
It’s like a trail of breadcrumbs, one after another, and I’m the bird eating each crumb with excitement.
Some signs point in one direction, some in another. Some are obvious, while others are hidden. The meanings and connections are both easy and hard to decipher at the same time.
There’s a new sign every day, sometimes five or more. I’m open to seeing them, to finding them, to adding each to my web of connections.
And man, for someone who always hated puzzles and guessing games, it’s been ex-hil-ar-ating!!!!
Being OPEN is helping me to further find my DIRECTION. Not a plan, not a goal…just being OPEN.
I still don’t know what the purpose of my life is, and I don’t know why I am going to Dublin.
But for the first time in my life, I’m okay with I DON’T KNOW. Ironically, not knowing has brought joy to my soul and to my heart.
I think Mr. Hand would appreciate that. I know Spicoli would.
Stay tuned for Part 4: The Web of Connections tomorrow.