The purpose of life

It’s a crisp September morning. The diner is not quite full yet. There are a few men reading the newspaper accompanied by a warm cup of joe. On the other side, you can see a couple eating their scrambled eggs with a side of raisin toast. I peek into the restaurant and one of the waitresses greets me immediately: “Did you need it to go?” I say no, nervously. “I’m eating here,” I add.   Maybe it’s the daily ritual of reading the newspaper that makes people more likely to accept men sitting alone at their table. But I’m not here to read the newspaper. I’m here to sit alone with my thoughts and a side of blueberry pancakes.

I don’t have to tell you what it’s like to chase life by its tail. I do, however, encourage you to sit alone with your thoughts every once in a while to give thanks. 

I haven’t been very active on social media over the past month. I like photos and comment every once in a while, but the pressure to bust out content hasn’t gone away. But I don’t want to call it content. Content sounds too frivolous. It’s bits and pieces of my life, and they deserve to be treated as such. 

The other day I was reminiscing about where I was in life a year ago. Last summer was brutal. I even wrote a post about it. Life taught me that if I want something, I have to ask for it. My computer password even said “iamabundant,” so that every time I typed those words I’d be reminded of how resourceful, creative and generous I am.  A year later, some things are very different and some are the same. But for it all, I’m very grateful. 

My day job has been keeping me on my toes. Working with middle school students is a challenge that I gladly say yes to everyday. Though it hasn’t been easy, I’m learning to accept that I’m in a phase of life where I’m not the teacher, I’m actually the student. And I trust that the lessons I’m learning today will serve me well in the future. 

See, the thing with social media is that it makes us believe that the entrepreneur life is the ultimate goal in life and that everybody is always having a good time. I bought into that idea for a while. Not that there’s anything wrong with owning a business or having a good time, it’s just that sometimes our perception is clouded by illusions that aren’t always the best for our current situation. Personally, having a full time job has given me the structure and stability that I needed in order to nurture myself and the creative child inside. Will it always be this way? Only time will tell. But for now, I will plant my feet firmly on the ground and bloom where I’m planted, instead of wishing I was somewhere else, doing something else and being someone else. 

I had an epiphany the other day while I was having a conversation with my mom. I went on a long period of soul-searching after I left graduate school almost four years ago. Since plan A failed, I desperately wanted to figure out the purpose of life, of my life in particular. Why was I born? What was my life purpose? While we chatted over coffee and shared some tater tots, my mom and I talked about religion, which is usually a topic of discord for both us. The human experience can be overwhelming, excruciating and exhilarating. Life isn’t fair sometimes, and our purpose in life is to help each other cope with it all. To lend a hand when the other one is down, to share a beer when things are good or to simply smile when nothing else works. To take care of one another’s hearts, that, to me, is the purpose of life. And that’s the reason why I decided to come back to this space and share more of my stories. 

For now, I’m committed to making the best of my days. I’m committed to slowing down and taking some time to feel the crisp September air on my face. I’m committed to pausing to notice how the light changes with the season and making sure I’m giving thanks. I committed to being less prideful and asking life for what I want. And I’m committed to being joyful and having fun while doing it all (for proof, please take a look at these photographs that show how luck I am at my day job!).