Hoping for a life changing moment, reflecting on past memories = self indulged confusion?
I have to admit something is going on. I am unsure of what it is but I can feel something deep inside that I can’t explain. Over the past few years I have studied metaphysics a little and read numerous self-help books. I have been on a spiritual search and feel I have come to an awakening of sorts but I still feel there is some little something still missing, I can’t put my finger on it and I have no idea what it is but I feel it is there. Does any of that make sense to any one else? I have been in Nashville now for almost 9 years and have hoped that in that amount of time I would burry my past, re-invent who I am and become an amazing new persona that could change the world. Perhaps a little corny to the masses but I have always been a dreamer. I think I have always hoped that I could be one of those people who had that instant life changing moment that would remold me into someone different, full of meaning, confidence and insight, someone who made a difference, someone you read about or see in some documentary on tv. I have always thought that those things happened in a flash and one day you are just different.
This past week I was re-united with some old high school friends through facebook after I was tagged in some pictures posted from around 1981-1983. For some reason it has stirred up a lot of emotions and some realities I have not thought of before or perhaps they were just buried. When I look at those people of my past and see where they are now, all of their lives seem to be centered around family, kids and their significant other. As I have said before, for the first time in my life I feel really comfortable with who I am and with not being in a relationship. Yet, this week I am feeling like I have fallen short because I have no responsibility other than making sure I pay my bills each month. I have no other obligations, no one to worry about, no where to be, no one who wonders where I am if I don’t come home (other than the big white pink eared dog). All of a sudden it feels so strange to me and I have to admit I feel a little out of sorts. I feel so free and content yet at the same time that I missed out on life’s true gift…that of giving life, a family, being a mom, giving my life to someone else rather than just focusing on myself.
Last night I pulled my old year books out wanting to see a picture of someone I heard had passed away, I knew the name but needed to connect a face. I found myself engulfed in those books for an hour, looking at all the pictures and reading all the notes my friends had left in between each page. The strangest part of the hour was knowing it was me back then but not really recognizing that person any more. I read my senior yearbook post and it said that I hoped to be happily married “someday”, to have a successful career and to make my parents proud. As I sat there a little teary eyed I realized how much we make words take on meaning that society has buttered us up into believing is the only way we will be happy. I had a marriage and although I am sure it was happy in the beginning it was not in the end and it has made me wonder if I will ever cross that bridge again. I know my career has been successful but where I stand right now I feel it is in need of some huge changes due to technology shifts and I am questioning everything in regards to what I am truly supposed to be doing. I do feel like I have made my parents proud but at the same time I believe they were always proud of me so in a sense that was just an empty statement a 17 year old thinks when faced with the reality of adulthood.
I have felt lately I am floundering around like a fish out of water, even writing this feeling like there is really no direction just hoping something will shift in an instant, that a light bulb will go off and in that moment I will be a different person. Even with self love and spirit how come I am not complete? How can I love “ME” yet feel I am still looking for a purpose, I don’t want to call it career but I know what we do with our time holds as much importance as loving ourselves and believing in God or what ever you want to name it. My idea of the person I want to be is someone who gives something back to the world in a way that truly makes a difference. The person I feel like I am is invisible. I think this goes back to the way we put meaning to things, the way we beat ourselves up at times. The weirdest part of this whole thing is that I love “ME” right now, I do feel comfortable in my skin, with my spirituality and my relationship with God. So if I have that knowing I never had that comfort in my past why does it still feel as if I am still falling short?
So many questions, so much more in this life to learn and wanting so badly to understand it all. Sitting here this morning as I write, I am enjoying the gentle breeze coming through the window. I can hear a flurry of birds, many different kinds in the distance chattering amongst themselves. I can hear the neighbor talking baby talk to their little one as she speaks back in some strange language only a parent would understand. Someone just cranked up some music, I think it is Tracy Chapman as I recognize the melody yet I can’t make out the song. Such simple things yet all of them make me feel better. In this exact moment of my self indulged confusion I feel a little relief just from the sounds softly filtering in, the perfect temperature, the sun, the blue sky. Although it is not completely quiet I think this is what quiet is supposed to be. Today no matter what my state of mind, or perhaps confusion I think I will spend my day alone out in my yard just being, enjoying the spring weather, doing a few chores and thinking about my life. I am sure another post will come from this and my hope is that it will be insightful. If not for you at least for me. Have a wonderful weekend everyone, sending love and thank you for reading! SMOOCH!!!!
Would it help if I told you that having children was not all that it was cracked up to be?! Or if I offered to give you a couple of mine?! Please?! Honestly, I wish that I could tell you that having children wasn’t awesome. But for me it has been.
Perhaps you will have children (my sister is three years younger than me and now has two and a half year old TWINS!)Perhaps you will decide to adopt, perhaps you will join lives with someone who has children.
But with or without children, in the end your life can be incredibly meaningful and worthwhile. There are many ways to connect and help others. Have you thought about being a big sister in the Boys/Girls program or a CASA volunteer? What about teaching photography to Girl Scouts, etc?
One thing that I am finally doing is starting a 4th sector firm. It is an itty bitty company that has a couple of bottom lines: profitability, and social mission (three if you add environmental sustainability!) Donating some of your time or talents can help you feel more of a community.
One caveat about wanting to feel needed and connected is that it requires some level of commitment and giving up some freedom. It sounds like you might be open to a little more balance in this area. Best of luck to you as you continue to explore the possibilities!
Whatever you wish for yourself, I wish for you!
Haha thanks Karen for your comment! I laughed at the first line of your offering. I volunteer for several organizations in Nashville and although I find it satisfying I still feel I have more to offer I just can’t figure out what. As with each of us my struggle can be shared but I still have the key to take my life where ever I want it to go…I am just on a side road at the moment I suppose! Thank you for reading!
I found it interesting that you say you feel the person you are is invisible, and yet you’re a photographer who sees the world in a unique way and shares that vision in beautiful images.
Being single and childless myself (except for a fuzzy little dog), I can identify with a lot of what you’re feeling. At times I’ve felt that there was an emptiness, something waiting to be filled. I assumed that was because I wanted a husband and children. I’ve since learned (as I’m sure you have, too) that no one else can “fill” that emptiness or make you happy.
So now, when I have that vaguely unfulfilled feeling, I take a look at my life and what’s working and not working for me. And I pay really close attention to opportunities that may present themselves, even things I may not have considered because I never thought I would be “good” at them.
It’s when I’m having that yearning for something more in my life that I find fulfillment and joy in people or activities that is totally unexpected. But I have to work at keeping myself open to those experiences.
I don’t know if this is helpful, or if it even makes any sense. Just wanted you to know that people are paying attention to your words and that you’re not alone in the way you feel. Perhaps these feelings mean that your soul is seeking something you’re not even aware of yet, and if your heart is open to those opportunities then there’s a beautiful experience waiting for you around the corner. 🙂
Catherine…think you for your words of wisdom and I loved the things you pointed out to me! I do feel I am right there with you in so many ways. I think that confusion happens to us all and then weather it takes 2 minutes, 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months…we have moments of clarity even after out confusion. I do think there is something hidden with in me I have not yet discovered. I believe that my sharing my thoughts and struggles outwardly rather than in private maybe helps others question their own situations and maybe together we are all helping each other with out even knowing it. Thank you, thank you for reading and for letting me know you had something to share!
I reconnected with a few people from high school off Facebook recently as well and it brought up various thoughts. Some good, some not. I actually just denied and deleted a few friends (and requests) this morning. Nothing personal, but it’s been 20+ years and a simple message saying hello and whatnot is cool, but to try to reconnect and become best e-buds? Not interested.
I do not have children either and for the most part I am cool with it. I miss more some of the traits that children force upon you, like patience and putting the needs of others ahead of your own. Being single, for myself, seems to reinforce a self centered mentality and not one that embraces other people. I think I would be a better person in some ways if things had worked out differently.
Thank you for the comment Dave…I hope that they were good thoughts!