Living with Purpose (1)

As a misfit, I’ve spent most of my 38 years on earth looking for my purpose in life.

I was raised Lutheran, and although I had a few moments of feeling like part of the church community, I always pushed for change. The church was very antiquated, had no youth programs outside of Sunday school, had an ageing congregation that spent more time preparing for their passage to heaven, or playing politics than really doing anything in the community at large.

Lutherans aren’t evangelical, they’re generally moderate protestant and follow a more apostolic doctrine th and what is shown with other Christian denominations on the media. 

I wasn’t evangelical, but I was thoroughly convinced that the reason I couldn’t engage and being is because there was nothing there for me. 

So I made a proposal to the church pastor for a youth group. He wasn’t keen. He also wasn’t a nice man. But I persisted, I asked I bugged, and badgered. For almost a year every Sunday I asked, I mentioned the idea to elders and was generally a thorn in the side of the church hierarchy. 

Along came the youth group leader. He was and probably still is fantastic, families started coming on more often, his youthful vibrance was contagious, there was youth performances in music and reverence renewed. 

Then the pastor had a falling out with an elder who’s daughter had a child out of wedlock. He refused to baptize the infant. There was uproar people leaving and so on. Then his wife showed up one day to church with a fist sized bruise on her cheek. 

I saw it. I saw the angry swollen skin that she must have painstaking caked makeup over while choking back tears. I was horrified, I felt so bad for her, and so angry at the pastor. 

A lot changed after that. The youth leader knew a young pastor with a young family, and many things changed. 

Including me.

I had questions, and even with a whole new church, there were never answers and I still never quite fit in. 

This was the first social change I’d made, and it’s been a continual trend.

What does this all have to do with purpose you might ask. 

I’m apostate at this point in my life, but I see that church even for the faithless has an important role in some people’s lives. The sense of community and belonging, the predictability and routine all can offer a sense of security. Community service and programs can help with the need for a sense of purpose in individuals.
I’ve always envied the people that I meet that knew what they were going to be early on in life, and somehow remained steadfast in that drive, and have accomplished their goals.

I envy it, because nothing ever clicked for long, and it’s taken years of personality tests and forums to compare experiences to understand that, by nature I’m not actually inclined for a singular Purpose, and it’s okay. 

So what does this mean? It means looking at the long term consistent activities in my life, even if there are lengthy stints and breaks.

Looking at things that may have seemed trivial or irrelevant (such as the above situation) and seeing my role in what happened in it objectively. 

That little fight to create change, and my persistence and fearlessness is a key to my purpose. Maybe my purpose is to find small things in life that could use improvement, persist until that thing is complete hand it off to the doers and people with the sense of purpose that fits, and then move to another thing. 

This is of course anecdotal, and each person is different. But for anyone sitting at home in their late thirties still wondering what they should be when they grow up, or what their purpose is, maybe it’s hiding in your earliest passions. 

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From chaos to order

Over the years I’ve done many things looking for my career niche (still haven’t found it), I also tend to have numerous projects on the go at all times, and many disorganized piles in all kinds of strange places in my home.

Parenting hasn’t changed it much, other than slowing my progress of sifting through the piles and projects and disarray, much to the chagrin of the SO.

All’s well and good though. the kids are happy and as well fed as two year olds can be, the house is reasonably hygienic, even through the clutter and craziness, and I’ve begun merging my previous life and passions with my new life as a parent.

At 38 years old, it’s taken up until now to develop some level of discipline in regards to separating projects in such a fashion that I can wedge work in between the hectic life of being a new parent of twins.

One things I have always done is carve things. It used to be stone, but I’ve started carving wood pendants and rings, highly therapeutic, but hard on the body. I discovered Etsy, and have posted a bunch of stuff there.  That’s about where I can go with my marketing skills or passion. I guess that it’s time to learn how to go about it.

I also write, a lot. Actually, writing was the only thing that didn’t stop during the transition into parenthood. What has changed though, is how I save or publish my writing.

I’ve built a few blogs, some more active than others, each one with a particular theme,  instead of just posting in Google drive or Facebook in some ramshackle state to be sorted on a later date (which never comes btw).

Dividing up the media has helped with the writers block that intermittently comes and goes. When I have a thought stream, I literally have a place to write it out. Some stuff gets published, others just remain drafts, depending on if those streams are complete or remotely shareable.

Ruminating in the Machine is and has always been about finding or making a space in society where I feel I can belong, and sharing my adventure in it with other people that are struggling to find their niche as well. I want to see an open dialogue more often than not, but at this point, I don’t know if this will be the ideal media format for it.

I know that there is a “multipod” (multipotentialite) movement out there, see http://puttylike.com and it’s a great concept, and has amazing marketing.

And that’s really it. I’m not a marketer, I’m still a chaotic bumbler… So Ruminating in the Machine will continue until I find my niche(s?).

And now back to sifting through the piles of life.

Cheers!