do we need to have a purpose?

Something that I used to ponder, from way back, right up till now.

I don’t know if our lives are meant to be purposeful and if it they, what does that even mean.

Do we find purpose in each and every second of our lives, in the relationships that we nurture and keep, in the jobs that we hold, the activities that we engage in, the thoughts that we think, the values that we hold steadfast to, or… what else is there?

To be frank, I do not know if I have ever tried to look for a purpose or search for my heart’s desire in the jobs that I have had over the last… 10-over years. I always questioned if I enjoyed my work enough to want to stay whenever I felt the urge to send in the resignation letter – most of the times, the answer was “No”, which explained the urge in the first place. Maybe I hadn’t thought hard enough, because on hindsight, when we have perfect 6/6 vision, there were some jobs that I guessed I needn’t have left and maybe, just maybe, I might still be sort of contentedly be employed there.

But… after so many years, after so many thoughts and countless gazillions of brain cells fried from thinking so hard, I have come to a sort of conclusion, a sort of truce, and in the midst of it all, to challenge myself to convince me, that a purpose does not need to be in a job, even if I spend the majority of my time, the best years of my life perhaps, the best hours of the day, in it.

I need to tell myself and believe in what I am telling myself, that a job is well, just a job. I may not love it, and I may not find much purpose in it, but it is something that I trade my time for, in exchange for monetary rewards and some kind of other non-monetary rewards – that I can then use for other things, e.g. necessities and wants.

There’s always a caveat though. As much as I do not need to love it, I must not hate it. It must not drain the living daylights and sanity out of me that it affects my well-being beyond its hours and confines, so that I can still live a wholehearted, meaningful life outside of it.

That said, I am still searching for that elusive purpose. I know now, finally perhaps, or maybe I will fathom more as the years go by, that purpose doesn’t have to be there every living, breathing moment, in every thing and every action. There are things we engage in that hold absolutely zero meaning, just because.

I don’t know if all this makes sense, or if as usual I am just rambling. Maybe I am just too tired and my brain isn’t functioning too well. But hopefully, I can find peace now.

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I wonder…

On good days and in good moments, I would constantly remind myself to practise gratitude, to give thanks for the little blessings that God bestows on me. For the most insignificant small wins that I count towards making a day better, to help bring a little twinkle to my eye and a light, wistful smile to help make the day a tad brighter, even if the dark clouds have eclipsed the sun entirely in an ominous foreboding thunderstorm.

It is always on the days that are not so good, when the tiniest setback could trigger a whole chain of negative emotions that seem to interlock with one another to grip you and your sanity in an iron-clasp hold, dragging you into the deepest depth of the ocean floor, anchoring you there with the heaviest anvil that makes you powerless in struggling to break up through the surface of the water for a life-saving gasp of air.

 

Today, I met with a friend whom I have not seen for a while. As we chatted, I was glad to see that she seemed truly happier, and I hope that is indeed what the reality is, as compared to the last time when we met and I felt a tinge of sadness for the bitterness that dripped from her words which I thought ensnared her. Maybe she has truly learned to let whatever it was eating at her go.

I didn’t face similar demons that she did back then at work, but I had my own to deal with, which to this date, I am still fighting to get to know, accept, and let go. Healing takes time, and I don’t know how long it will take.

 

Social media has its good and bad points. There are times when I would browse through my social media feeds and feel extremely worn and lousy, filled with envy and jealousy, even bitterness and resentment, when I see beautifully-curated snapshots of other people’s lives, even if I know that is just what it is, curated fragments.

Yet social media also has its merits. Through it, I have come to know of more varied lives beyond my own. I have come to know that perhaps the life that I have may be one that someone else dreams to have, even if there are so many instances when I have felt only abhorrence for myself and my existence on this earth. There are people who are literally living from day to day, giving thanks for each morning when they wake up because it is one more day claimed from whatever terminal illness they are fighting.

Each of us face a different set of struggles. That’s why our lives are all unique.

I don’t know what lies ahead, but I can only take it a step at a time, a day at a time, and if this is not it, then I will move on and not let it define me, not let it defeat me, not let it cause the crash that almost led me to commit the greatest sin of all.

2017

Happy 2017. Although it’s already the third week of the new year.

Philippians 3:13-14 says:

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind me and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

In this brand new year, I should learn to look forward and not into the past; that whatever has passed is past and put them behind me. It is ok to reminisce but to live in past memories only serve to make us get stuck in a time warp, unable to progress forward.

Well, I don’t know if there is anything that I am hanging on or holding on to in the past that is rendering me unable to look forward or move forward, but I know that action is important. We can have the best-laid plans but if no action is taken then there will never be any breakthrough. I hope that this can be the year of change for me, in all aspects of the word, that I can persevere in making the kind of changes that I want to see in my life.

Being financially-bound by commitments, the biggest of which is the housing loan that I should stop harbouring resentment towards but be filled with gratitude and gladness that I now have a roof over my head and place to sort of call “my own”, add on the various other necessary payments such as taxes and insurance premiums the latter of which medical-related ones are on the uptrend, I may be constrained with pushing forward with my initial plans to action.

That said, I still want to believe that this is going to be the year of change. Changes can come in small steps, but I need to take one step forward to make things happen.

Food for (my) thoughts

Came across a website earlier on, and read some articles that could be useful for me. One of them talks about addiction to food, which more aptly, the article states, could be “eating addiction”. There’s even a slideshow that was created to discuss it, along with groups at risk, prevention and so on.

As I clicked on the various links that expounded further on the topic of binge eating (disorder), a lot about the behaviour and feelings described resonated with me. I wonder if it could also be a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy as I try to draw myself into the box of people who may fall under the diagnosis of BED.

Looking back on 2016, so many things have happened this year that has physically and mentally worn me out. I hope I have made good progress on some fronts in terms of breaking through on some thoughts and ideas that have ceaselessly spun themselves in a spiral within the small compound of my mind. In the coming new year, I also hope that there can be real tangible progress that will move me forward, even if it is just for an inch. It certainly beats staying in the same spot, pondering the next move but never making it.

Merry (belated) Christmas!

So anyway, Christmas has come and gone. So fast. Too fast. I thought it was just November? Good times never seem to last, but that is how things work. Good times are enjoyable and so they appear to pass faster. The reverse is, of course, true as well.

So how did you spend your Christmas? I hope it was all good for everyone out there who happens to come to read this post. Merry Christmas to you, albeit a belated one, although it is technically still Christmas since there are supposed to be 12 days’ of Christmas right? This would make today the 4th day.

Came across an article shared by someone on LinkedIn that talks about complaining, and I would raise both hands sheepishly to admit that I am someone guilty of being a chronic complainer. I know all along it isn’t healthy, even though there are times when there is a need to just ‘vent it out’ and not keep it bottled inside because it is healthier? I don’t know, I guess there are different schools of thought on that, but the article is against complaining. More specifically, it is against complaining without a purpose – it is okay to complain if it leads to a desired outcome, say you are complaining about bad service but with an aim towards hoping there can be an improvement to it (an example in the article). But most of the times, we, or rather I, complain for the sake of it.

It isn’t just a bad habit that should be kicked for good, having it out of our lives actually helps promote better health, maybe better relationships and overall a better quality of life. I think this would be something for me to work on in 2017, and hopefully the tips offered by the article will help me move in the right direction!

a Christmas that doesn’t feel like Christmas at all

I can’t believe it has been so long since I last posted anything. It’s getting increasingly challenging to post on WordPress, metaphorically. There really isn’t much to write about and I just do not have the inclination to write. It’s easier on other platforms perhaps, to share, words or pictures.

That said, as I checked out the blog’s page, I realised that the drifting snowflakes are back! Obviously I haven’t activated that this year, so I guess it is a feature that has carried over from the year before. Looking at the snowflakes, I can’t help but feel the sharp contrast to what we are experiencing this year in Singapore; the weather has been nothing short of scorching, warm and humid, save for a few bouts of slightly gloomier, cooler and wetter moments that offer some kind of respite from the heat that is so uncharacteristic of this time of the year. Indeed, if these are the effects of global warming, I really shudder to think of what could lie ahead.

Such weather pushes any thoughts of Christmas far away from my mind, which automatically links the heat to ‘summer’ season. On the other hand, the shopping belt and malls have started pretty early in ramping up the festive vibe, with the decor and then when they began playing Yuletide tunes that kind of sets the tone to get people into the spirit. I didn’t want to, and seldom buy many gifts for Christmas in the first place but as I bought one, the others somehow just seem to follow. It is always a blessing to give than to receive, although I wouldn’t of course refuse presents that come my way!

Going through a period of simplifying my life and hopefully eschew the more material parts of life that I used to (and probably sometimes still do) hanker after. After all, we all come into this world with nothing and will leave with nothing, why should we indulge in material items that don’t do much other than to artificially inflate our egos? It’s something I try to convince myself, that material things don’t make or define a person, definitely not me. I don’t become a “better” person just by carrying an expensive bag, or wearing expensive clothes or shoes. What matters more and most is what is inside of me, which are not what so-called branded items can define.

Anyway, before the year runs out… we have another 10 days or so before 2017 arrives, if I don’t come back here to do another post, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Friendship at work?

I wonder if that is fact or myth.

I would like to believe that it is possible to form friendships at work, because most of the friends who I have now with whom I contact often and meet up with, are from work. There are just a few who have remained friends after we stepped out of the schools’ gates, whether by choice or by circumstance. But the ones I count as close friends now are mainly from my past jobs.

The thing is, we didn’t become friends or grow closer after we leave the companies that we worked together in. Which is why I have this faith in friendships formed at work. Yet, it is with examples that I also start to lose the faith with it.

It does seem now, that developing friendships is becoming an almost impossible feat. People seem to be guarded with information they divulge about themselves, and they seem to not be totally forthcoming in conversations, whether it’s about work or play. I know that we ought to be mindful of what we say, especially when we are still working in the same company, but shouldn’t friendship be characterised by trust? I don’t sense that feeling of trust here somewhat, and there is a lack of candidness. There is still that overall civility that is proof that we are still on ‘colleague’ terms, not friends.

There is certainly no need to feel sad or aggrieved at this, but I just find it strange. Having people at work whom you can talk to without that barrier helps to make an otherwise dreary job more bearable. Perhaps I just tend to trust people too easily, despite my professional background where I was meant to exercise scepticism in my line of work. But yet that is not to be.