I love to
live, but there are some things about living that I am finding particularly
hard to deal with.
1. The meaning of all of this
I love living, but what is it that I love about it? Where do I
find meaning and is that my meaning? Do other people have a meaning
exclusive of mine? People often talk about the obscure meaning of
life- I think that those who are truly happy have found it. What
is their story? My thoughts: there is no one meaning. Each of us
has our own and the sooner you find it the happier you are. You
can finally be content with who you are, what you have done, and
what you are doing. Now, I love to live, but I am still unsettled
with some aspects of life, therefore if I am to follow my theory,
I have yet to find my meaning.
So I have begun a quest to find my meaning. In fact, my quest began
in the summer of 2001 as I set out on a year of traveling. Unfortunately,
I did not find the meaning to life. I did find out more about myself
and my quest continues albeit with more questions.
This leads me to my next area of life that is currently unsettling:
money and working.
I just recently had lunch with an old friend from high school.
We sat down together and asked each other some hard questions like
what do you like about your job? If you could do anything for a
living what would you do? Where do you see yourself in five years-
in terms of geography, career and relationships? He mentioned that
money, for the first time, was a major issue. It makes life easier,
but he has found that most people he knows who have a lot of it
are a “slave to their jobs”. Where is the balance in
that? I would be happiest volunteering my time and money away, but
I must work to make money to pay my bills. This leaves me little
time and money to volunteer to others.
I’m a Libra and I have always believed that balance is the
key, but if you look at the scales, balance is a very precarious
state. To find balance you must try many different combinations,
then when you have found it, any shift in that balance must be dealt
with by an equal and opposing force—something that is not
always possible in real life. Therefore, I am searching for something
that I will enjoy doing, will add value to my meaning, but at the
same time will not kill my passion for something that I love because
it has become my job. This elusive balance must be part of the knowledge
found by those who have found their meaning.
Once people have figured out what they like to do to earn the money
necessary to lead the lifestyle that they are happiest leading they
must conquer the final key to the equation: Love. It is perhaps
the most confusing aspect of the meaning of life. Although love
can be found in many different kinds of relationships—and
all of your relationships should be healthy in order to achieve
your balance in life—I have chosen to focus on the love you
find between two people who have decided to be together for the
rest of their lives because it is confusing me right now. I want
to know what kind of love that is and how I know if I have it.
To date I have fallen in love twice. Each episode is distinct and
I would characterize them as different loves-probably because of
my age. My first love I met in high school. We were an item for
six years. I never truly knew if I could marry him and in the end
that doubt made me want to see if there was a different kind of
love out there. Four months later I jumped into another committed
relationship with a guy I had known from my work-study job at college.
I jumped because even though I was not looking for a relationship,
that did not mean that one could not find me. But there was just
something there that I could not ignore.
This relationship is different from the high school sweetheart.
It is intense, but not the at-16 kind of intense. We connect on
many different levels. He has a deep spiritual side to him that
makes me think about my spirituality. He is genuinely intelligent
and interested in many of the same things that I am. And physically
our energies came together in the most awe-inspiring manor. I knew
from the minute I met him that he was “marriage material”
although at the time I didn’t realize that I was talking about
myself. He has made an effort to get to know me better than I know
myself. He doesn’t push preconceived notions or his visions
of me onto me. And his kiss confirmed everything. Still I have a
level head and I never believed in “that feeling” until
now, which leads me to doubt it especially since we live 4 hours
away from each other.
Things are not perfect. They rarely are. So I am wondering how
far can this love thing take you? I am six months out of school,
substitute teaching at an inner city high school trying to find
meaning in my life with out a career for stability or my “soul
mate” to make me sleep easier at night. I wonder how long
things will last, if the distance will tear us apart. How much does
circumstance play a role in how far a relationship can go? When
do you know you have found “forever”? In the end I may
never be able to answer these questions. Perhaps I will have to
start trusting the feelings that I get, and maybe in time I will
be able to express those feeling with words.
All in all, this is what I love about life. Life makes me work
for what I want. Even though it would be far easier to have a crystal
ball to see if I ever reach my “self actualization”
that Maslow speaks of, none of my achievements would be worth anything
without the gut wrenching decisions and hard work that I put into
achieving them. Ultimately, I am an optimist and I know that it
will all work out. Love is tricky and contradictory, but it makes
life interesting, hard, and worth it.