Searching For Purpose Can Be An Uphill BattleYesterday, while sitting at the recently re-opened best burger joint in Tuscany, Danielle and I had a very subdued conversation about life. This was not the first, nor would it be the last, discussion about the path we are on and where we were headed. I know I’ve mentioned this before (usually with more bubbly enthusiasm), but after you fulfill or are in the process of fulfilling a huge life dream, two things happen…

First, you realize you can do just about anything now, which is extremely empowering and overwhelmingly awesome. Second, you slip slowly into a deep depression because, having fulfilled such an awesome feat, you are now left with the daunting task of determining “what’s next?” Don’t pretend like you’re just going to be satisfied with life after a big dream comes true, contentment is an illusion. Thus, many of our recent encounters with the ‘big question’ have lead to something more so resembling therapy sessions.

I don’t know if it is the extra bread, pasta and sugar I’ve been consuming or the looming indecision about what to do next, but I’m in a sort of foggy-headed purgatory that I absolutely abhor. I’m in the middle of Goddamn Tuscany, mostly healthy, eating great food, hanging out with new friends and visiting wonderfully charming hill towns. Unfortunately my brain is too full of nonsensical thoughts about money, the search for my bigger purpose, and a very cynical view of how stupid worrying is.

The end result of all this is I’m now on a renewed journey of discovery, to determine the higher purpose that drives me, and make sure I’m working towards that a little bit each day. I think back to a long time ago when a younger me answered the question “What’s the most important thing in life?” to which I eloquently replied “Always having something to look forward to.”, which is quite possibly the clearest thought I’ve had to date.

Life is great, don’t get me wrong. Roaming about Europe and discovering different cultures is fascinating. I also love exploring my creativity through my work and am in the process of moving all non-fun stuff like billing, operations, etc to other more qualified and more interested resources. What I’m struggling with though is aligning my passions with an unknown destination. Where do I see myself in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? Looking forward I just see a dark cloudy haze, as if I’m looking through a misted up window with distant colors fading in and out of view. For the past few years I’ve been working toward just being content living in today, which I absolutely needed, but now I’m sort of feeling like today is not the ideal today, but rather an alternate today that I’ve sort of become accustomed to and not thought much about changing.

I know that sounds ridiculous seeing as I’m halfway around the world living an entirely different lifestyle than I was even 6 months ago, which is why I think it is the purpose that is missing rather than something else. What I really want is to find that something that has me nearly running out of bed in the morning and has me so exhausted by the end of the day that I can’t wait to go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again.

The pits of all this is I feel as though this higher purpose is right in front of me, as most epiphanies probably are. There are plenty of things I enjoy doing, exploring such as we are being one of the biggies. It just hasn’t revealed itself yet, almost like I have to go through a special right of passage, experience some random hardship or do some really really good deed in order to claim it. Perhaps I’ll discover it today, or perhaps never. I have a feeling it will come to me when I least expect it as most of the amazing things have in my life. However I think perhaps I’ll just continue blindly pursuing it for the moment because it makes me feel better having something to focus on. In the meantime, any ideas? Let me know in the comments below.

– R

P.S. You can thank “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” for my satirical tone. Thank you again Pat! I love this series.