finding purpose… or the search for the holy grail

Recently we had a rather lively conversation in our little artist group Salon about preferred mediums, the nature of titles (artist or not, etc.) and purpose (as in the “what is my purpose?” question). So I’ll share here some of what I wrote there, because I’m sure that we creative types all process these questions over time.

I’ve called myself, on and off, both a writer and an artist, but they’ve always felt like unvalidated terms, because I’m not thriving in either area, though I would like to be.

Sometimes I wonder why we (humans, I mean) feel compelled to categorize ourselves. There is joy in the making and the doing, and so I’m not sure whether calling oneself one or the other really is what makes it so, and why it should matter to anyone else but ourselves.

We are so much more than one or two words.

I am a maker of wonderful chocolate chip cookies, with butter and semi-sweet chips.
I am a great sorter and hoarder of condiments.
I am the creator of wonderful hugs.
I am the holder of space for people in which they can safely express.
I am the keeper of an open heart.
I am the seeker of tins of rolled caper studded anchovies in oil (why can’t I find these anymore?).
I am a teller of stories, in words and pictures.

I’ve been pondering on direction since being let go from my last job. Clearly I need to make a decent living, but HOW do I choose to make a living? Do I go about it in the same way that I have up until now? I don’t know… I’m still thinking on that one.

The ephemeral question has always been “what is my purpose” (which is also one of the questions that has come up during the 30 Day Journaling Project).

I find it stigmatizing, this question. We are all here to be here and show up as our unique selves, in whichever way we grow into ourselves throughout the course of our lives. Our search for ultimate meaning seems to take away from the meaning of our journey. Every person whose lives we touch finds meaning in our presence (and vice-versa).

I’ve struggled with that question for time immemorial. Seriously… I’d BORE my early twenty something peers with the question. It’s always been a sort of quest, and feeling like Percival in his search for the Holy Grail, not seeming to ask the right questions. I think maybe it’s that we don’t need to know. Maybe we just need to live.

And this circles back around to being an artist and/or a writer. I have felt compelled to do both since I was a little kid. It is how I express myself in the world, or rather, my inner world outwardly. And some may or may not like or appreciate how I do that, but that’s not for me to worry about.

Somehow, I believe, we are all our own masterpieces.

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