Things I’ve learned in the last 48 hours:
- All but two of you people can not follow instructions (and one of those two kind of cheats.)
- More people feel similarly to how I feel than I realized.
- Those questions were deeper and more stirring than I imagined them to be.
I read my last two blog posts to my therapist yesterday. Part of what prompted me writing them was thinking about how I feel about my life at this point and what may or may not be the point of continuing to go to therapy. I felt like, at least in part, those posts answered some of the questions that I’ve been considering and that I imagine Deb might be considering, as well.
When I read her the questions her eyes got really big and she said, “Wow! Those are some big questions. Have you gotten any responses?”
“Yes,” I told her, “One person responded right before I left to come here. Which is disappointing because at this point, I know the post has been read ten times.”
The truth is I thought, however naively, that those questions would be easy for people to answer. I thought most of the people who read that post would be able to whip out a few sentences and explain the meaning of their lives to me. I don’t honestly know if I thought everyone would have a wonderful, beautiful, meaningful story to tell that would confirm my suspicion that my life doesn’t mean anything, or if I thought everyone would have a story similar to mine that would help me find some sort of comfort in this meaningless, day to day grind. Whatever I thought, I expected to have my comments section filled up with replies to my questions and my pleas for assistance.
The truth is Jody, my first respondent, nearly took the words out of my mouth. Jody says:
“I get up because I have to. I get up because I am awake. I have nothing that makes me bound from my bed in happiness or joy or fear or desire. I get up because that is what we do.”
“You know these questions make me feel like I have nothing going for me.”
“Hell, I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like a waste of space. That I will be one of those people when gone no one misses.”
Terri’s answers leaned a little more in the other direction, relating that what gets her out of bed in the morning is a job she enjoys, with people she likes and feeling valued in her work. I envy that for sure.
Terri cheated a little. I specifically asked that you not answer with “my kids” and that’s what she did, but after reading her answer, I understand why:
“I don’t know yet. I really don’t know. The easy answer is my kids. My kids are the focus right now. Raise them. Help them be successful. Help them take flight and hopefully help them not to make the same mistakes I made. What scares the hell out of me is who I am and what is my purpose when they’re grown and on their own. I was barely old enough to start wondering about my purpose before they came along, so I had to put those thoughts off for the past 21 years. A couple more years and I’ll have to face that question for real.”
I’m surprised really that only two people responded to my little “interview” and even more surprised that I didn’t get even one uber-peppy, my-life-is-all-rainbows-and-butterflies-wonderful responses.
My answers, which I did not want to share in that post, are far more doom and gloom:
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Fear. I get out of bed because I’m afraid not to. I’m afraid to lose my job and not have a pay check. I’m afraid to lose my income and not be able to pay my rent and my car payment and my bills and have my life be turned upside down to suck even more than it already does because I’m homeless and broke. I don’t get out of bed because I can’t wait to get to work. I don’t get out of bed because there are such great things and wonderful people waiting for me outside my front door that I can hardly wait to get going. I get out of bed – late – because if I don’t, things are going to go from bad to worse. And that’s a really sucky reason.
What do you believe is your purpose in life? What is your reason for living?
I haven’t got the slightest inkling what my purpose is. There really isn’t even anything more to say about that. I have no idea what may be my reason for living.
What do you live for? What keeps you going?
My answer is the same. It isn’t for any kind of fulfillment or personal satisfaction. I don’t have any of that. I don’t get any satisfaction, whatsoever, from my job. Aside from the paycheck every other week, which never seems to go far enough, my job gives me nothing. I don’t like the people I work with; I don’t like the customers I serve; I don’t even like the field I’m in and yet, I have no inkling of what I could do instead that would provide any of that satisfaction.
I don’t have children, nor do I want them. I really thought, though, that being a Big Brother would be something that would give me some of that sense of accomplishment or fulfillment; I thought it would give me some satisfaction. It doesn’t. I like Lil’B a lot and for the most part we have fun when we hang out, but if something happened and I couldn’t be his Big Brother any more, I really wouldn’t be bothered by it. In fact, it would be a bit of a relief.
So while it does seem to be somewhat of a cop-out answer, what keeps me going is the fact that I am alive. I do wake up every morning, like it or not, and therefore, I have to keep going… like it or not.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this except to say that clearly I’m not the only person in my world who struggles with these questions. I suppose that’s comforting in a way, although, knowing how very much it sucks, I do feel badly for the other people in the same boat.
While the questions were intended to be for my edification, I can’t help feeling badly for asking them now that I realize how tough they are. I hope no one was harmed by reading those questions and being forced to consider them. I don’t know why I didn’t realize how tough they would be.
I don’t really know where to go from here. I am reaching for a conclusion, both for my state of mind, and for this post. It seems, however, like the truth is there is no conclusion… yet.