Arriving in Mexico City a month ago marked the end of the three-month long honeymoon phase of my new nomadic life. In the US, I stayed with friends and spent my days sightseeing and having fun. Now it was time to become productive again and create something out of my life. The problem was that I had no idea what that something was. I found myself alone in a strange country with no purpose.
This lack of purpose has really affected me. From having been an energetic over-achiever, I am now sluggish and lazy. It takes me forever to get ready in the morning or do the simplest of errands. It is as if I am dragging my feet to make these tasks take longer and thus leave fewer hours in which to worry about what I really should be doing with my life. There is a listless apathy hanging over me and I am entirely unaccustomed to it. I’ve always been a carefree happy-go-lucky kind of guy who never used to brood over these kinds of things. So what happened?
The old purpose was a mirage.
The thing is that I have not really lost my purpose as I honestly never had one. All my life, I’ve had an imposed structure dictating what I should do. From school to university to work, there was always someone around to tell me how to spend the majority of my day. Although dull at times, this still gave me a feeling of ‘being on track’ and ‘doing what I was supposed to do’. Having spent eight hours at school/university/work ‘doing my duty’, I was then free to take the rest of the day off and merrily go to the pub and flirt or meet my friends for an evening of gaming.
But wherein lay the purpose in that? Earning money? No, I’m not that shallow. Building a career? That is only a purpose if the work done has a purpose, and while I enjoyed the professional challenges, I never felt that my work carried a personal purpose. Having fun and be happy? Perhaps, but I can easily do that here, so why the sudden worry about purpose?
The truth is that I never had a real purpose, but I was too busy to notice or care.
Remember your reasons for change.
Now that I have taken full control of my life and there is no one left to tell me what to do, I can no longer escape the question of purpose. I’ve fought so hard and sacrificed so much to forge my own path and chase this dream of a nomadic life, and for what purpose? What am I trying to accomplish with all this effort?
This past month, my only answer has been a pathetic ’I don’t know.’ But while I’ve been writing this post, I’ve realized that that isn’t true at all! I have reminded myself that I did have a purpose when I set out on this path, almost a year ago. How could I have forgotten?
I am doing what I am doing to create a sustainable nomadic life. I hope that such a life will help me to never stagnate, keep growing as a person and explore as many facets of this life and world as possible.
I don’t know if that is purpose enough for one’s life, but at least it is more than what I had before.