A friend requested a college edition of purpose, a post in which I’d attempted to think about why life excited me way back in school. It’s crazy how insanely shallow and yet incredibly true that post is. My short term goals are momentary and startlingly specific.
In school, my world was limited to school and home. That was a blessing in disguise. I wasn’t affected by anything beyond the fence but for some weird reason I wanted to be.
Years later, here I am…still wondering what helps me wake up with hope and energy. In the bluntest terms, my purpose
Summer after school ended: Going college shopping, the possibilities that come with transitioning from school to college, the thought of having a good college experience and really turning things around
First year, college: Getting good grades, no room to slack off because I wanted to get into every Master’s course I applied to, I didn’t want to be rejected by anyone ever again.
Second year, college: Reading, interning, reading obsessively because book blog but in a way that felt so enriching, studying became easy again so I didn’t have to study obsessively
Third year, college: Not screwing up my post as Lit Sec, spending time with friends, allowing for good moments with people to have as much meaning as my invisible military-style check list of goals for every year
Summer after undergrad: Not screwing up entrances and interviews, wondering why it mattered sometimes but salvaging those helpless purposeless moments by escaping into a book, Candy Crush! I had to finish 100+ levels…just because.
First year grad: Cycling around a pretty campus, learning for learning, through videos, through assignments, through life… plastic fluorescent stars, a vision board, the night-sky… more about experiencing, less about concrete needs and goals and outcomes.
Second year grad: Stuck without thrill or meaning when my yellow phone got misplaced and my data didn’t work…made me wonder how everything depended on network. why. Made me feel so hopeless and ordinary.
Second year last few months: Experiencing, living, being, me.
Summer after grad: I lived for attention, belongingness, validation. Or just any one. Life needed to be a good story, a quirky plot.
my purpose, now: Finding balance. Embracing moderation. Carving my own destiny without upsetting everything in sight in the name of free will. It’s so easy to throw yourself into everything or abstain. But to regulate and stay afloat…to flourish while holding back especially during times when it’s just more comfortable and less troublesome to abandon logic and context…Moderation and/ equilibrium is the real challenge (less is more, more or less).
I started my new years feeling happy to have had a balanced and fruitful day.
But one day is easy. I hope to summon the strength and resources to make what I want out of the rest of the year.