I use BB cream on my face and I vacuum my car (RIP Snowbunny!) and I go to birthday dinners with friends and I buy books at Savers and I struggle on the ab machine while staring at my future husband (I promise to summon the courage to ask his name!) and I pay the water bill on time and I buy crystals for spiritual healing and I take my mother to Christmas Tree Shop and I write out detailed progress notes at work and I try to be nice to strangers and I schedule doctor’s appointments all while thinking: what the fuck for?
Ever since I was a child I’ve had moments where I sit back and feel like I’d rather be somewhere else, doing something else. Like I’d rather be someone else. My life should look different but I don’t know what or where or how to get there. I get this thing in my chest and I want to claw it out. It even wakes me up at night. And I know that I am not the only one that feels it. During a soul-searching conversation on WhatsApp, someone who I thought had it all figured out and that I have always aspired to be like raised the question, “Yeah, I feel the same. I think, what’s the purpose?”
Their questioning, their inner turmoil and angst, hit so close to home I nearly cried. Purpose. That’s it. I’d been wondering but hadn’t been able to place what was wrong. I don’t have a purpose. I used to think my purpose was to love. I used to think my purpose was to write. I used to think my purpose was to help people. But doing those things have not gone as planned. They’ve backfired or they haven’t fulfilled me as I expected they would have. They’ve left me emptier than when I began. I’ve been left on the floor, kicking into the air like an inconsolable child who’s trying to explain what’s wrong but doesn’t have the adequate vocabulary.
This could be much ado about nothing and I just have an inflated ego and have come to the conclusion that I’ve failed at life. Perhaps I have a skewed sense of self and my actual abilities. It’s possible that my insecurity has altered my perception of what the fuck is going on. It could be that the universe doesn’t hold anything magnificent in store for me, for any of us. You could even call me an ingrate. But this restlessness in my chest never lets me forget that something – whatever it is, however small or large, real or fictional – isn’t quite right. A big part of what makes me ME is missing, undeveloped, squandered. Do I stop looking or continue the search with fury? I don’t know.
“Tell me somethin, girl / Are you happy in this modern world? / Or do you need more? / Is there somethin else you’re searching for?” – Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”