When I was young, adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up…the answer was a scientist. Honestly, I didn’t know of many other occupations, so I chose that almost arbitrarily. What else would a little kid say? Many happily say a firefighter, a police officer, an astronaut…all along the same lines of what limited jobs that they’re aware of.
When I was a bit older and asked the same question, my answer was that I wanted to be an archeologist. I enjoyed digging holes in the sandbox, the dirt, even the wood chips of the playground. Nothing more, but nothing less. Small things that I enjoyed doing dictated what I would tell others. I thought it was simple I guess. Now I see it as not understanding the complexity of things which led to my ingenuous belief that life was really that straightforward.
When I was in middle school, I realized that I didn’t know what I wanted to be. But that thought was too scary for me, and I chose to bury it by thinking of everything else that I would want to have in my life…a family, money, happiness, oh and a ‘calling’ that I would happily go to work every day. But my thoughts about this passion I would find in life were muddled. Complex and deep thoughts for a person who couldn’t even understand the people around him, let alone himself.
Now I’m in high school…I openly admit that I’m not sure what I want to do in life. What I do understand is that we aren’t destined, predetermined by a higher power to have a purpose in life, a job to do, and a cause to fight for. We as intelligent beings through experiencing feelings and the tastes of the world come to believe that in all its wonder, we have been set here for a reason. That we are special.
The truth is that we aren’t special. People mention those that they call geniuses, Mozart, Einstein, Newton, all experts in their fields who brought inspiration and revolution to the world. When standing next to giants, or reading the larger than life accomplishments of these historical figures, it becomes simple, easy to just classify them as something more, freaks of humanity that through luck and genetics left their marks in history.
The truth is that we are human. We believe that we are special and with a hidden, buried purpose because that’s how the mind works. We think this because we are self-centered, and want for a reason to explain why we were set on this Earth. We want to explain away the fear, the doubt, the why. When asked what we want to do when we grow up, we want an answer…one to comfort, to satisfy, to diminish the pangs of reality.
The simple pseudo-answer to the complex question of ‘what is your purpose?’ is that we must find it, create it, and live it. Read, explore, and learn…look under every nook and cranny for the things in life that interest you. It could be playing an instrument, creating art in the form of words, or saving the world some suffering through advancing the progress of science. We aren’t set here for a purpose…we need to find one, or create one based on our own interests. Yes, some people are more talented, or born with a certain genetic makeup. These little advantages may bother us at times, that these people are so much better, or not utilising their quirks, their traits to fully pursue something that you as a person may want or are jealous of.
Forget about that. There are people who choose to race through life like the race that they see it as, and that’s perfectly fine. However, it sets people up to be upset, disappointed, and worst of all jealous at things that are beyond their control, potentially leading to the diversion of blame on people and things other than themselves. My point is, life may be a race, but it’s a marathon that’s raced against yourself. Some people are born better runners, some people are faster, but what matters is that we go for it, we enjoy the journey, and that we realize life is something worth investing in while we’re here.
Sorry for today’s longer entry, got kind of carried away…
To conclude, I’d like to share a really short stanza about time and how like a stream or river it flows inexorably and relentlessly.
The Passing of Time
Night drifts to day
The moments passed to yearn
Like a stream flowing away
Never to return
As always, thank you for reading, and have a great day.
(btw, let me know if there’s anything specific that you would like me to write about here on the blog, or if you have ideas and suggestions to improve my content.)