In the chaotic, often unpredictable world we live in, it’s hard to do much more than just stay afloat. Bob in the waves, be grateful that the tide hasn’t sucked you under and hope that you eventually make it to shore. While this is fine and dandy, and it is important to survive, this is NOT living. Living is more than just surviving, just merely bobbing on the surface not drowning. Because eventually, all the water treading will lead to exhaustion, and this exhaustion will, eventually, cause you to drown. Maybe not in the physical sense, but definitely emotional, mentally. And before you know it, you don’t remember why you bothered to stay afloat at all.
A life without purpose is essentially meaningless. I believe that people who struggle with mental illness, such as myself, have a keen understanding of how a lack of purpose can lead you to feel that nothing really matters. Although everyone needs something worthwhile to hold onto in this world, for me and I’m sure many others like me, no purpose leads to an imminent downward spiral, and if you’re not careful, you may seek a more “permanent” solution.
I have been treading water for years. And it seemed to be working. Got me through having to leave school to take care of my family, going back to school and finish my bachelor’s degree while working full time and got me through transitioning from a child essential to a quasi-adult. But after I did not have a billion things to keep me busy, to force me to stay afloat, I found myself drifting aimlessly, the shore vanishing from sight. I tried to fix this with pills and therapy, which helped for a while, but this alone only allowed me to continue to tread I had been doing for years, and the fatigue of this still simmered in my bones and it was not long before I felt as though I was drowning.
It wasn’t until I decided to analyze what I really wanted out of life and began to believe, truly believe that I could obtain it that I was able to see a way out. I began reading up on how others have done what I want to do and researched the steps to get there. And then I came up with an action plan. But not like the ones I had made in the past, that were so huge and broad that they seemed unmanageable.
I have made some big steps. Went part time at my soul-sucking call center job, picked up additional job that does not pay much but helps me develop clips and skills I need to be the Jane-of-all-trades individual I want to be. I’ve been taking webinars, offering free services to peers, educating myself as much as I can about marketing and writing and everything in between. I also have put myself out there, applying for jobs I would have previously talked myself out of and committed to projects, such as NANOWRIMO, I once believe unconquerable.
I am finally SWIMMING. And the current is not as bad as I thought.