Finding Purpose in Life

How I found myself and eventually my purpose

 

Someone told me an analogy of purpose, it’s like having to sign a document and there’s no pen, and if that document doesn’t get signed, you’d lose everything, so you’d bite your finger and draw blood to sign that document.

I have been working on finding my passion, it’s been my homework for a few years, not realizing that there are more issues than just finding my passion: I don’t know what my purpose in life is! Yes, I do have things I want to do in life, or dreams. I even have four main dreams I want to achieve in this life, although at the moment, I’m not even sure that I’d eventually achieve them. And to be honest, I don’t know if I’d be troubled if I don’t achieve them. But I know what I decide to do now will determine what I will do in life. Apparently, there are still many things I haven’t yet found in life, it was as if, I haven’t found myself yet. I couldn’t figure out myself, it’s even written on my blog and twitter: A convoluted girl living in this derelict world – or as every millennial thinks of themselves: A special snowflake.

(Not so many) years ago, I started working after I finished my undergraduate program with a passion to develop people, not just indirectly, but directly see their development: their changes in behavior and knowledge. I didn’t acknowledge it as my passion yet but I knew that it was my mission when I started working. I’d say I was very much influenced by my parents, what with them being a trainer and a lecturer; maybe the fruit really doesn’t fall far from the tree.

During my working years, my big boss, who liked to see people grow, challenged me and asked what my passion was. I wasn’t sure how to answer it, and it took me almost a year to actually answer him. One thing that I always remember him telling me was: your passion doesn’t have to be your profession, but in your profession, you have to find your passion. The next time I talked with him, I told him that my passion is children. I want to join this huge organization that works for children. Again, my boss told me to test my passion, is it really my passion, or just a momentary compassion. Eventually, I found one of my passions was meeting new people. It wasn’t enough, though. If I like meeting people, I can be a taxi driver and meet new people every day. So I dig deeper and realized that I enjoy giving solutions to people, even if it’s just the programs I was selling. Still, I can work as a customer service and be happy, right? Wrong. It took me a few years to make firm my passions: it is to develop people. Sadly, I didn’t get it in my previous workplace.

Having lived more than a couple decades, I know I have many talents, skills and knowledge, maybe more than some people at my age, maybe less, maybe more experience too if I dare to say so. But I haven’t thought of what have I been doing with those? How do I sculpt, mold and form them to achieve my goals in life, let alone my purpose in life? I’d like to blame my upbringing, with a father who exposes me to many opportunities and a mother who never says ‘no’ but usually summarizes the meaning of things that happened. But I don’t like blaming situations especially other people; if I haven’t succeeded, taking course in life, seizing my moments, it’s all because of me.

I thought am complicated, I still think I am, but I maybe made it so myself. And do I think am I the only complicated person in life? Heck, no! Well, okay, maybe sometimes I did. But others are complicated, too, in their own ways, or so I’ve been told.

When people ask, what do you like? I can list out a ten page, back and front of what I like and what I can do. (Ballpark number, I have never done it). But when I was asked, what are you? I clammed up. I don’t know how to describe myself in one sentence, not even one paragraph. I said I am a rather complicated person, convoluted, versatile; I have never been able to describe myself. Do other people easily able to explain themselves? I grew up, believing I am a Jill of all trade, a generalist: good at many things, but not best at one thing. I played billiard every day for one year, but I’m still not an expert. I can play a few musical instruments, but best at none. I love my coffee, but I for the sake of my life, I can’t tell the difference of my Robusta from Arabica. I drew many pictures when I was in high school, but still having trouble in transferring what’s in my head to papers. I write short stories, novels, blogs, but am I an expert, I don’t dare to say so. I painted, I practiced Muay Thai, I like badminton, I established volley club in high school, was the president of the chess club, I do photography, videography, video editing, even deejaying, I cook and love cooking. But there’s nothing that I’m really best at. However, a year ago, I found what really brings me joy; it was when I explained something to someone, and the light bulb above his head was lit, they understood and I was joyful, simple as that. It’s when someone receives aha-moment through my sharing or teaching. Basically when I inspired someone.

I was asked again, how do you find your peace? Peace is not when everything is quiet and calm, peace is when in the middle of the storm you are able to sleep through it all, still enjoy your life. And I replied that with a question, is ‘peace’ what everyone is looking for? Maybe.

So, through all these, what do I want to achieve in life? What is my purpose? How do I use what I have in life?

I do believe that everything happened for a reason. I talked with an old family friend, who told me that all the things his wife did, enabled her to build a great organization that aligns with their passions. I said, sure, it’s easy when you’re at a certain age and you can look back and see how things turned out how they supposed to, but I’m at the age where whatever I decide will determine my future. I am lucky enough that my Asian parents aren’t as pushy as some other parents who insisted on their children being excellent since a very young age.

I have been learning a lot these past couple weeks. It’s like God is trying to tell me something. I’ve met and talked with amazing people who gave me great insights. And they got overwhelming and I had to write them down. I didn’t realize I’m at the age where I can already look back at what I have and done to decide what I want and have in the future.

Again, what is my purpose in life?

I like seeing people grow and be better in many aspects of life, be it professionally, emotionally, even spiritually. It brings me joy when someone receives his/her aha moment. I like to be inspiring (or maybe become a blessing for others, as I have prayed for so many times). Maybe that’s my purpose? To bring out the best out of someone. The how is my homework.

 

 

Random Writing Prompts #2

“How old did you say you are?” Clara asked me when we first met fifty years ago.

“I’ve lost count,” I replied, “But let’s say, I watched the dinosaurs became extinct.”

And that’s just how Clara was, and Sarah before her and Lady, Cindy, Agnes, and Thomas was somewhere among them, and way back to when I was around a hundred years old.

They all wanted me to love them, they all wanted to be my ‘soulmate’, to prove (God knows who) that anyone can find their soulmates. As long as I’ve lived, there has always been someone who thinks he/she could be my special someone.

It could happen, actually. If I was willing to open my heart and love any of them. I could have been any of their soulmate. But in all the years I’ve lived, I haven’t met any woman (or man), worthy to be my soulmate, worthy to age with, and to die with.

And eventually they grew tired of me, and left me for someone else, and they aged, and they died.

Day 30: My Highs and Lows of This Month

Today is the last day of the writing challenge. I will try to catch up on my lost days when I get inspired. Looking back at the month of January, I can’t say anything else than to thank God for being my guide and provider.

My highs:

  • Starting with the New Year: we arrived at the park just in time to see the ball drop (6 seconds before it reached the ground, really). We were not exactly in the park, but we got to see the ball drop and the fireworks (who knew that they were not shot from the park).
  • And then my brother’s surprise party was a huge success. It was fun and a few stayed until 3am.
  • I stayed over at my friends’ house in Illinois and caught up with them, it was really nice because I don’t get to see them often.
  • The day I decided to walk in Chicago downtown, was the second Women March, more than 300,000 people were marching to stand up for what they believed it. Honestly, at first I was confused as for why they were protesting, it seemed to me everyone was holding posters with different sayings, but to see the people swarming, it was mesmerizing. (Picture in the bottom).
  • I got to bond with new friends, hung out and watched movies with them.
  • My farewell/my roommate’s surprise early birthday party… I wouldn’t call the surprise successful, but still, a lot of people came and it was fun to see the birthday boy trying to hit the piñata (picture in the bottom too)
  • I’m always excited to receive packages in the mail, even though I bought all the stuff that came in the mail for me, but still.

Now, for my lows:

  • I was a bit sad when my mom went back before I did, even though I’m now on my way home. I didn’t get to see my mom for two weeks. But then again, I haven’t seen my dad and my nephew for almost two months
  • I was also upset when my brother kept on leaving me, I felt really distant with him. I kept on asking if he’d miss me when I’m gone. But I know he will. He just doesn’t express it well. We’re pretty close as siblings; I know I’m not a perfect sister, but I’m try to understand him better.

So, this is it. The last of the challenge. It’s been fun, and as I wrote yesterday, I’ll try to write more in my blogs about topics that crossed my mind. Till then…

(Jan 20, 2018)

The ‘smashed’ piñata over the birthday boy.. (Jan 28, 2018)

Day 29: Goals For the Next 30 Days

I think this topic should be written on the last day, to sum the 30 days challenge and state the next goals, although, I don’t typically create goals for the next 30 days. But this challenge has been quite fun, I always find a time to write, and only missed one day (in my defense, I was sick and I wrote two on the following day). There are three missing days; 11th, 25th and 27th. I did post day 11, but I did it from my phone and it was gone the next day. I had no idea what happened, and I took day 25 off, because after I posted it, I realised I did not address what the challenge asked for. And I haven’t written day 27, because I don’t know how I want to write it.

Anyway, I made up my mind, and for the next 30 days, I will:

  1. Try to find a job or get a new source of income. I’ve been jobless for a while, and aside from the freelance jobs that I did, I really don’t have a steady income.
  2. Write maybe five, six more short stories. As per now, I have eight short stories, four of them are related to Aite, two of them about Muses, and two others are standalone. I found a lot of writing prompts in Pinterest; I’ve written a few scenes based on those prompts, and it was fun. This was one of them. I will try to write more.
  3. I thought of this since about a week ago, I’ve even listed some topics that might be interesting to be discussed. I will keep on writing on my blog. If you have a topic to be discussed, please leave a comment, I will try to write about it.
  4. Finish reading another novel. Actually, I’ll make this a monthly goal, at least one book per month.
  5. At least 30 minutes of exercise per day, five days per week (I don’t know if I can do this, remember, I’m a coach potato!)

And, voilà, five goals for the next 30 days. I hope I’ll follow through as I did with this challenge.

Ta-ta for now.

Day 28: Something That I Miss

I miss my parents,

I miss my nephew

and my niece,

I miss my friends,

I miss foods that I used to have every week,

I miss living in Perth,

I miss living in Indonesia,

I miss my childhood,

I miss my teacher,

I miss traveling,

I miss climbing mountains,

I miss swimming in a pool,

I miss the sea, the waves and the sun,

I miss my grandma,

I miss my grandparents,

I miss that one girl, whom I thought I knew,

I miss my crush from college,

I miss my crushes from church,

I miss my best friend from high school,

I miss my muse,

I miss working,

I miss driving,

I miss the feeling of not worrying how to pay my bills,

I miss my old house,

I miss the old family house,

I miss feeling relieved,

I miss having someone who adores me.

Most of all, I miss him… and her.

 

I can list all the things that I miss, but really, what’s the point?

Some things I can still reach, some things I just have to let go.

Some are just precious memories, some other I will achieve more and more.

Some are within reach, but predicaments wouldn’t let me.

And some… and some… Oh, if only, I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…

 

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Random Writing Prompts #1

Glad. If I could feel glad, I would feel it. For it was her, who broke my heart 10 years ago. I have spent many years trying to get over her. In fact, the first time I sold my emotions, was weeks after she left me.

I couldn’t bear with the heartbreak, hence I chose the money. After the emotions grew back, I sold them again. I was rich for a while, but I had no emotions while I spent the money on the things I did not need to fill the void in my heart.

I need to thank my gambling addiction, I guess. If I wasn’t so broke, I’d still have my emotions now. And today would be the worst day to have emotions.

There she is, sauntering with her husband, hand over his arm. She wears a royal green dress she has had for years, yes, I recognize the dress that enhances her long golden hair, no matter how she decides to do her hair. Once or twice I saw she glances at her husband and laughs.

I wish he looks at her too, and both of them get too infatuated with each other and they don’t see the carriage that is coming toward them. Wait, what is this? Is it, envy? Jealousy? Ahhh, what is this pain in my heart?

I wipe the involuntary tear that falls on my right cheek.

Day 26: What Kind of Person Attracts Me

There was one person I was attracted to, since the first time I lay my eyes on him, even though we barely exchanged words and we’ve only spent 11 hours in the same bus. We’ve never met again. He was tall, lean, dark haired, wearing glasses, and a smoker. I was not brave enough to introduce myself and try to get to know him. I have lived without having regrets, but he was my one true regret.

Physically, I’d say I’d be attracted to tall, dark and handsome men. But it’s too typical. I’ve been answering that for years. My ex-boyfriends were dark skinned, they were short, tall, average-height, relatively charming. And I don’t know why, but all were of the same ethnic, too. But I have been attracted to various different type of guys. The predictable, the bad guy, the good guy, the musician, the biker, the mountain climber, among others.

What some of them had in common was being funny. I’ve always been infatuated by guys who are funny and witty. I remember I had a crush on a guy in church who would say jokes but kept his face straight. Like Chandler from Friends, Eric from That 70s Show (he was many times called ‘smart mouth’ by his dad), their sarcasm to me it’s an attractive quality.

Ideally, I want someone who wants me for me, not because I was their n(th) choice, or because they desperately wanting to get married. It was one of the reasons I broke with one of my ex-boyfriends. I want someone who will love me and care about me, will be proud to be with me, and telling his friends about me. He may not be the most good looking, the most buff, the tallest, the richest; I just need him to be with me, sharing little, precious moments that will turn into memories, and the same values and having that chemistry through out the time we will spend together.

Day 24: My Favorite Movie and What’s It About

I have too many favorite movies. The first movie I owned in laser disc format was Beauty and The Beast (1992). Sound of Music has always been my favorite, too. There are also: AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001), Armageddon (1998), Almost Famous (2000), Chocolat (2000), Clueless (1995), and so on and so forth. I have a folder in my external hard disk dedicated to so many movies that are my favorites.

However, there’s one movie that when I bought it on DVD, I watched it three times in consecutive days: Stomp The Yard (2008). Sure, it’s rating on IMDB isn’t too high, probably because there are a few similar movies before that (You Got Served and Drumline). Basically, it’s about the black people competing in things there were good at: You Got Served was dancing competition, Drumline was marching bands between two schools, and Stomp The Yard was about stomping competition between two fraternities in one university in Atlanta.

What I liked about Stomp The Yard was first because of the casts; there were Ne-Yo, Brian White, and Laz Alonzo. The story was about the hero who was trying to live a life after his brother got killed and he thought he didn’t deserve it, because his egoism got his brother killed. He got a second chance when he joined a fraternity and he showed everyone including himself that what he was fighting for was not only for him, but also for the good of others too – so, teamwork. Which is funny enough, it’s very similar to Drumline; in both movies, the heroes had trouble with authorities.

I like both movies, but I don’t know why I choose Stomp The Yard over Drumline. Maybe because in Stomp the Yard there’s Brian White and I think he was very handsome.

On another note, I also like Pacific Rim (2013), because there’s an element of self-sacrifice in there. I love musical Rent (2005), too, mainly because of the music, but also because there are a lot of controversial issues too.

I don’t know what else to say, I love watching movies!

 

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Day 23: Pictures of 5 Guys Who Are Famous Who I Find Attractive

 

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These are the five famous people I find attractive (in order).

  1. Tom Hiddleston
  2. G Dragon
  3. Theo James
  4. Tyler Blackburn
  5. Ian Harding

I wanted to include David Bowie, but sadly he’s deceased. Even though I really think he’s good looking even nearing his 70s. I’d also throw in Slash (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver) in my younger days, along with Shane West, Ben Whishaw, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale and Jared Leto…

Day 22: How I Have Changed In The Past 2 Years

If I were to ask how have I changed in the past 2 years, say, a year ago, I’d be scratching my head, trying to find the little things that I have changed in. But this year, I can confidently answer that I have changed quite significantly.

Two years ago, in 2016, I was still working in the same place I had been working for the past 4.5 years, I was still doing my Master’s degree (and dreading at it), and I was receiving salary but had almost no time to travel nor doing things I’d like to do. I only had 6 days of personal leave and 6 collective leave day every year (means the leave days were decided by management, and usually on Ramadan and Christmas).

Personally, two years ago I was rather emotionally unbalanced, because I was in a pseudo-relationship that did not turn out very well, it affected my work and school.

As per now, I am a free woman, financially have to be more careful (I do have a couple investments), I got my Master’s degree, and I have spent a couple months travelling as well as producing a few short stories, even focusing on my novel. With my emotions, I’d like to think that I am more capable of controlling them, I have started reading my Bible everyday, I am more organized with my things (I tried de-cluttering and throwing stuff I no longer need), and still working on it, but be more discipline with writing and workouts.

I admit I still have many things to change and to be better at, but compared to two years ago, I definitely can say that I have changed.