Well, it’s finally cooler. Cold in the mornings actually (I have the space heater going in my office right now). I’m holding and drinking a hot cup of coffee, trying to warm my fingers.
The Truth is, I’ve been floundering lately (ha, not just lately, forever) – caught up in thinking about and identifying “my purpose.” I’m wondering if I’m still relevant, what do I have to say that’s so important, why am I doing this again?
Weirdly enough, in thinking so much about personal style recently, I finally also concluded that purpose is like personal style; there’s no need to have one. Just like there are no minimalist police monitoring our wardrobes, there are no personal style cops or purpose hall monitors.
That sounds blasphemous though, doesn’t it? it’s hard to type, to put into words. How can we not NEED a purpose? I’ve been told I need a purpose, I’ve been searching for it all my life, what do I do now?
Some people grow up with a sense of purpose and meaning, or just a sense of belonging, and are always confident about their place in the world. Others have children, and there it is, their purpose, in flesh and blood. Still for more, it’s never clear, children or not, and they struggle daily to come to terms with the uncertainty. We think we must be certain. I have always thought I must be certain.
I always thought I had to have a (good) reason.
I don’t remember ever feeling like I belonged anywhere, or having a sense of confidence in my “role” in the world.
But now, finally, I feel it. I belong here. I don’t have a purpose, other than to just be here. I can stop searching and just be.
All my life I’ve felt like I have to justify my taking up space in this moment, this universe. I thought if I could only find my purpose, something that others could acknowledge, and say , “oh, Grechen, she’s this and such – that’s what she’s here for,” then, I would have proven my worth, have earned my keep.
Sadly, my struggle has had so much to do with my weight/appearance over the years, and was all brought up again on my trip to Kentucky with my mother to see family. I clearly remember growing up, being a pre-teen, early teenager, feeling so ugly and not worth the space I was taking up – because I was overweight. I was told that I’d be so pretty if I was thinner. I heard people talk about my weight and how I needed to lose it*.
I felt horrible, and that has stayed with me.
When I went back recently, and saw people I hadn’t seen since I lost weight, being now a more “acceptable looking” weight for my height, they were so pleased, I got compliments everywhere I turned. They know next to nothing about my life or my accomplishments besides the fact that I lost weight, but that seemed to be all they needed to know be assured that finally, I am okay, I am worthy.
That’s fucked up. But being back there this time and remembering how it affected me then, and again now, allowed me to see after all, that I do not have to prove myself. Certainly not by looking a certain way, but also not by “doing” anything.
So much of my anxiety has come from not feeling good enough, or worthy enough, to just be. What do I have to be good enough for? What actually IS good enough? What is my prize for being good enough? Can I ever win it? Who says when I am actually good enough and can finally just be?? Who, indeed.
I used to think I would be good enough if I had all “the right” items of clothing.
I thought I would finally feel good enough when I had children to love and nurture.
Then, I thought I would feel worthy when I was successful in my career.
I say that I am worthy right now, to take up space, to move around in the world, to just be. This is my place. Whatever it is I happen to be doing is my purpose, my meaning. Maybe that will change tomorrow, or the next day. I am not good enough, I just am. And that is all I want. I just want to be.
(thank you for reading. I know a lot of people can’t relate to this, but maybe some can. And I know I’ve been doing a lot of navel-gazing lately, but you don’t come here just to look at the pretty pictures. Now that I’ve worked this out, I can get back to shopping posts and talking about my outfits. Or not LOL)
*I attribute no malice at all to those people or statements, it was a “different” time and people were concerned about me, I hope. Also, people don’t realize how much children internalize things, and HEAR things.