I was muttering a bit about purpose the other day. It gives lives meaning and all of that. And yet, I continue to have no specific purpose to my life, other than making it through another day. It’s sort of a weird thing for me, insomuch as I am completely lacking in desire to have some grandiose end goal in my life. I consider my job something to pay the bills rather than supposedly fulfilling some need or want of status. I rarely concern myself with status, as it strikes me as a rather silly game played by children with no self-worth (I know, that’s way cold of me). And while I acknowledge that purpose brings fulfillment to lives, I certainly don’t beat myself up about the lack of it in me — I’m doing my best to move past my old self-flagellating ways.
So yes, there’s a bit of a conflict and a conundrum and a paradox in all of that… like in pretty much everything else. I acknowledge that a life with purpose is likely to provide more fulfillment. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now — I am happier when I can be doing something. It shuts up the mind, and well, ticks the boxes of purpose (however minor). I acknowledge that having some big end goal can give people immense pleasure to and through achieving their goal… though the pessimist in me tends to have a large ‘Why bother?’ in knowing the dissatisfaction that can come after obtaining something lofty and desired. There’s also a big part of me that feeds the ‘Why bother?’ in having technically done so much already in my life; when you’ve got a laundry list that most people are impressed by, it tends to make everything else out there look boring and pointless to aim for.
I also, in the interest of fairness, do occasionally pause to reflect on this from the viewpoint of being mentally ‘ill’. Am I jealous of neurotypical people and their lesser barriers to achievement? I honestly believe that to be a no; I have some supposedly impressive achievements in my past and present. Nor do I resent them for having it ‘easier’; we all have our hang-ups and issues in our lives, and as ‘bad’ as Bipolar II might seem to many, it is what I am used to dealing with. I know that I am a strong person, and because I have my ‘label’, I can and have been doing my best to unfold my stories and experiences. I might make it look easy to some, but shizz… it’s not. I’m stubborn and picked up a good life philosophy at an early age, and I do my best to know me so I can work with me. But it also means that I have to make due with less doing to preserve what I have, and that can be admittedly frustrating.
None of this changes the base conflict though – I acknowledge purpose to be good, and would not mind having more to my life. Maybe something will make itself apparent to my cheerfully fatalist self in time. All I can do is continue trying to keep on keeping on, and see what makes sense when the time comes for it to make sense. Maybe something will occur to me that will provide succor over a period of time, rather than something that gets ticked off the non-existent tickylist (like winning NaNoWriMo). Though I will say there is absolutely no desire for ideas or suggestions; that would only give me undue stress. I can myself tell myself to learn another language or pick up another instrument or any number of banal things that oh… I’ve already done. So we’ll see, and I’ll guess I’ll make due with doing the little things as I can, and enjoy the small amount of pleasure they bring with them.
Poki and I were having an interesting conversation last night about motivation, to do with money and how bankers saw money itself as a goal, but that so many more of the population only see money as a facilitator – a way to achieve things. I had a think about what motivates me, in this context and I can’t say that I have particular goals that I focus on, but that what keeps me going forward is a drive for more data! Lifelong learning is what fascinates me, understanding more about other cultures, about different viewpoints, about different physical, chemical and biological aspects of our world. I have no overriding goal, but I have a sense of wonder that needs to be fed with more information to be processed. Maybe this translates to my life being lived with interest? I dunno – just thought that the perspective might be a positive one?
Mmm, I saw you comment elsewhere today about your lifelong drive for data, and it made me smile. Certainly, learning more is a noble and worthwhile thing to do, and something that I try to keep on board myself. The world is a delightful place with so much to nibble upon, after all. 🙂 It’s not enough to sate me, though I’m not sure I will ever find ‘the thing’ in that regard. Not giving up, mind, just bemused that the path has not made itself clear to me as of yet.