making your mark

i wandered on over to fears departing to comment on his most recent topic, and didn’t realize i would have quite so much to say. (pause) well, upon reading the question(s) he posed, i did anticipate. here is my response below:

I’ve never dreamt of changing the world. Even though I know great things can come from individuals, I’ve never thought of myself as one of those great achievers. Yeah, I know you don’t have to be a genius or anything to affect change, but I don’t think I have enough of what it takes – confidence, self-worth, intelligence, etc. Even though I’m sure I don’t excel at it, I enjoy making a difference in my own little world – helping someone out here, being a good friend there, doing the best I can do at my job and in my home or whatever I’m doing. I myself know that the littlest things can mean the most. It’s like when you’re having a bad day, and a smile or kind gesture totally turns it around for you.

I am extremely discontent with my life, and for that I feel worse, because I know I’m truly blessed in many ways. The other day, I was driving home from yet another day of work, and it occurred to me (yet again, as it often does), that much of life is geered towards getting a job and making money. We go to school at a young age, not only for a rounded education, but to hopefully get a good job one day. After school/college/whatever we’re on a quest for the perfect job, and it seems forever after we’re looking for a raise, promotion, whatever. I know there are exceptions, but mainly we HAVE to make money to SURVIVE in this world. I wish I could just do what I wanted and not have to worry about these mundane things, but it’s part of living. You need to contribute to society, and if you’re not doing something to contribute, you’re mooching. And no one wants a moocher.

Now, there are those that mix in plenty of what they enjoy, or they just happen to enjoy their jobs, and that’s great. Even if I loved my work, there would still be those days where I would be doing it because I had to, where I would be sick of the routine. If you were a millionaire, would you work for the sake of working? I wouldn’t… I would pursue some endeavors I enjoy, because then I wouldn’t be pressured to bring in “x” amount of dollars to pay off all the bills. Like exorbitant healthcare – that’s the business to be in, I’m telling you.

If life is about having a job and making money – which I think the world itself is about – then I know I’m failing miserably. I didn’t go to college and don’t have a degree, I don’t make a lot of money and I supplement my PT job by cleaning all the time. And such domestic chores are SO TIRESOME. I’m sick of cleaning up other people’s messes. Now, I know money isn’t the be all and the end all… it really isn’t that important. But to be comfortable in this life, you have to have it. And you have to keep making it. I find it hard to balance making enough money, and still have the time and energy and happiness to pursue some of those things that make it worthwhile.

I find it hard to be passionate about any one thing, because I feel so limited in many ways. In my time, energy, resources, finances, etc. I know there are some people that can quit their jobs and sell their homes and find fulfillment following their dreams – but I think not having the security would scare the shit outta me. I think I’m afraid to take some of those risks… however exciting and successful they may prove to be.

It is extremely hard for me to avoid feeling sorry for myself, because even when I’m actively engaged in something, my mind is running a mile a minute. Sometimes I’m so exhausted, just from the mental battles going on. Other times I am successful, usually by way of diversion. Lately, I’ve been exercising a lot, which kills two birds with one stone… because I also want to change my physial appearance. It makes me feel productive, and helps me lose weight. In more recent years, surrounding myself and spending time with family and friends who care about me have made a big difference. But also putting things in perspective, that can be huge. In the long run, what the hell does it matter? Sometimes, just sitting outside watching the sunset, sitting out on the beach and watching the waves roll in… I think of how puny my “problems” really are, in the grand scheme of things, compared to what’s going on in the rest of the world, etc. And at those times, I also imagine that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Carpe diem, if you will.

I struggle a great deal with my spiritual life. But lately, I’ve been going to an evening service at a church nearby. It’s put together and led totally be 20-somethings, and it’s a great time of worship and reflection. They put the lights down low, light candles, play music, use powerpoint to project inspirational quotes/verses/images. I look forward to this service all week, and it’s a great way to end my weekend, kick off another work week. Just sitting there for that hour, reflecting on the short message, on the words of the songs… I have to constantly remind myself of some of the greater, more important (in my estimation) things in life. It can be hard mustering up self-worth on our own, believing that there’s anyone out there that could love/accept us or whatever… I don’t think I will ever fully grasp and appreciate the presence of God in my life, but I know He’s there, and I do take comfort in the knowledge. And just like the sunset or beach scene… there are times, reading Bible verses or singing praise songs, when the things of life are put aside, however briefly. I’m humbled, sometimes fearless. I wish I could bottle that feeling and drink it whenever I pleased. I suppose that’s part of being a “mature” Christian.

I need love and acceptance. I mean, I know I can survive without it, but unhappily so. I don’t necessarily need acknowledgement, a pat on the back for what I do – I don’t mind being behind-the-scenes – but I want to mean something. To take care of and to be taken care of. Someone before me said they didn’t necessarily need to be loved, but they needed to love someone – I need both. Or I strongly DESIRE both. Sometimes, I’ll be watching a cheesy romantic movie… part of me will be shaking my head, but another part of me wants those same elements for myself. At the times when I’ve felt most loved, nothing else really mattered – it didn’t matter if I wasn’t perfect, wasn’t beautiful or accomplished. I was accepted for who and what I am. Or so I thought.