Saturday, May 19, 2007

What am I here for?

After all of the yammering about this or that event, the really troublesome issue comes out to this: If all of the things I thought my life was going to be and involve turn out to be wrong turns or detours, what really is my purpose?

Catechism's answer: The chief end of man is to glorify God and to serve Him forever.

That's a fine answer, but what is the practical outworking of that? How do I do that? I mean, it's a generic, ivory-tower concept - does that mean eschewing everything connected with the material world and devoting myself to good deeds like Mother Theresa or going to a mission field someplace far away, or what? I don't think so. Not that those aren't good things, but I haven't felt that call on my life.

Does it mean working day in and day out to achieve debt-free living? Still a good idea, but then what? What do you do when (OK, for me that is still an "if") you get all of your bills paid off, even the student loans and the mortgages? Then what?

I don't have children - which is probably a good thing in my case - and I'm of about the same mind about children as I am about missions: good idea, but not for me. There was a time I felt differently, but honestly, at 43 (and a half) years old, I'm too tired for children!

What is there about making a life worthwhile? 'Cuz here's the thing: other people may be content to just go through their lives working and paying bills and doing whatever they do, but I'm not used to that. There always has to be more, for me anyway.

When I moved here, in the back of my head, there was this thought that maybe living here on my own was the set of circumstances and attitude changes that would bring the One I'm Supposed To Spend The Rest Of My Life With into my life, and I'd meet him, get married, settle down, and live the life I was really supposed to be living. I would never have admitted that - not even at gunpoint - but that's what is supposed to happen, right? Single, getting to that age, find someone, etc. That's the script.

That was one part of the reasons behind my purchase of a residence - because, after all, who takes a 30-something (at that time) year old woman seriously unless she owns real estate? If she's just renting, she's either a gold-digger or she's hopelessly inept, financially, and not a good prospect. These days, we women have to be not only attractive, slender, and modest-but-with-sensual-potential, but we also have to have our financial s*** together. (The other part was that I needed to move due to Neighbors From Hell living upstairs, renting was as expensive as buying, and I only wanted to move once).

Except it didn't happen. None of it. The one I thought might be either the One or someone through whom I might meet the One not only turned out to be neither, he turned out to be nothing like I'd thought he would be (and now he's marrying someone else - who is divorced and has two kids already: the instant family concept).

None of the choices I've made to get where I ended up seem at all in line with what I wanted my life to be like in the four years it's been since I made this move in the first place. All things being equal, my life is at least half over, and I'm still not sure what I'm doing with it.

As of right now, I'm pretty well into screwing up my job - I have a certain amount of billable hours I need to put in to justify my continued existence. As of today, I'm far enough behind that I don't even know how far behind I am - except, I'm pretty sure I would have to bill (not work, bill) 200 hours a month to get caught up by the end of the year. If that isn't self-destruction in action, I don't know what is.

The struggle there, though, is why am I doing this anyway? I'm doing the same thing - at which I do not completely suck, which is always good to know - for more money than I've ever made in my life. The money I make pays my bills (or it would if I didn't keep spending more than I can afford). I joined the church I was talking about and started with choir practice on Wednesday night.

So why do I feel like chucking it all in the can and starting over?

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