Let’s do a quick survey of just a sliver of the crazy absurdities of the present day: a divisive political climate that is bringing out the absolute worst in people, sucking up our productive energy; horrific scenes of dead and injured children in Aleppo; people stepping over dead bodies in rafts off the Libyan coast; majestic wild beasts heartlessly slaughtered for the most unbelievable reasons (I’m talking everything from moose and bear in the Maine woods all the way to trophy hunted animals in Africa and poached elephants and rhinos); virgin forests cleared for animal agriculture and palm oil….All the while, we care about what the Kardashians are up to, the Brangelina split, and all that worthless, non-news, news. We’re also inundated with everyone else’s seemingly perfect lives on Instagram and Facebook and are constantly being told by all the self-help gurus to live our best lives and follow our passions by simply “manifesting” them it into reality. It’s so easy to feel anxious, hopeless, and overwhelmed, but also that we’re underachieving if we’re not doing the work in the world that we’re meant to be doing. There are MANY moments every week where I’m driving home and thinking “WTF am I even doing?” or “What are we all even doing here?” “WHAT IS THE POINT?” and sometime I just scream (or cry!) while I am barreling down the interstate.
I’m here, in Maine, with a roof over my head, a big best dog friend to keep me company, a couple close, good friends, and a great job, that while maybe isn’t fulfilling my life’s purpose, is servicing my student loan debt, is in my (alleged) “chosen” field, and uses some of my best professional skills. I am very, very lucky – I know that. But here I am, my job is full-time, is pretty consuming, and I’m torturing myself on a daily basis by thinking about how I have so much potential that I am somehow squandering down here flailing around, when I could be fulfilling my “higher” purpose – what I am “supposed” to be doing with my life. I just turned 39. I have a vision of myself in the future, serving, doing, interacting, helping people live better (by eating better and exercising and living with more compassion towards animals – because I have had my own transformation and am now on a mission to share it) but I have no further specificity to those visions and no roadmap to get “there”. I just flat-out don’t know what it will (or should) look like, I don’t know how I will make money to support myself, I don’t have any further specifics in this vision. THIS IS INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING! And sometimes paralyzing.
As I roll down the interstate towards home, I have an almost weekly check-in phone call with my mom, who calms me down, pumps me up, reassures me and just generally does whatever I need at the moment to help me keep moving forward (how awesome is that??). Tonight she reminded me of a quick trip we took to Colorado years ago to visit my brother and his family. My sister was also there and we were all hanging out on the grass (maybe drinking margaritas?) in the common area of their cute little neighborhood. My nephew was maybe 6 or 7. He told us he was going into the house to get something to drink and my mom asked him what he was going to get. He replied “I don’t know…and isn’t that just the most wonderful thing?” and off he went.
Where that even came from in that seven-year old brain, who knows…but I am carrying those words with me tonight as I practice my writing, by publishing this post. I don’t know where any of this is going, or what it will look like, or how I will get “there” but I am trying not to get frustrated with the not knowing part, being easy on myself, and looking for the wonder in the process.
Happy weekend – keep moving forward friends – I’m flailing around here with you.