Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile. - Sir Wilfred Grenfell, 1865-1940
I skimmed past this quote today. It rang true to me, and it also gave a few insights into my messy cranium. I was challenged to make a list of things that make me happy and also a list of things that make me sad in my heart. Turns out that over the years my happiness has been pretty predictable. I realized as I looked through the list that my happiness is always exhibited through some sense of purpose or at least the idea that I am being utilized to my fullest. I seem to always get unhappy when I feel that I am not reaching my potential. I began to examine that more closely the other day.
(Note: The rest of this blog should be read with 1 part sarcasm and 2 parts charity. I am not really as bitter as this may read. In fact, I am much more perplexed.)
I feel that my current case of the "boo hoo, poor me, what am I doing with my life, waaaahs" has been due to the fact that I feel...well, less than purposeful on some days. It's almost too basic when I think about how predictable my moods are in that sense. It's too simple; they come on the days when I realize that I have been making coffee that I don't even drink, or when someone in my life chooses to explain something SO basic to me out of their own insecurities and need for control. We all know which moments I speak of. The moments when you feel like shouting "I HAVE A BACHELORS DEGREE! IF YOU CONTINUE TO EXPLAIN TO ME WHY ITS A GOOD IDEA TO TURN LIGHTS ON IN A DARK HALLWAY BEFORE WALKING INTO IT I WILL RIP YOUR ESOPHAGUS OUT!"
But I realize that these little moments for some people are all they have. It's actually pretty uncharitable of me to not just sit, listen and politely nod as they give a lecture on why its always a good idea to let the dishwasher fill for a few days before running it. After all, I am not better than any one else and they are not better than me so why can't I listen to a few healthy pointers. But for some reason, there are days where I let "pointers" nearly drive me off a cliff. And my beef is not with the actual advice they are giving, oh no, it all makes perfect sense, but it is the way in which people occasionally assume that there is a chip missing in my own brain that had the common sense data on it.
Los Angeleian's make me laugh that way. There seems to be a tinge of overcompensation. Maybe they are just trying to fight the stigma that other Americans have put on them that suggests they are not the brightest bulbs in chandelier, or that they spend too much time relaxing or Keeping up with The Kardashians (whatever it may be), but it is definitely something I've noticed. Most people here, including myself, seems to come up with an incredibly dull lecture series about something so insignificant but that suddenly becomes as important as Watergate. Maybe it's that this town loves scandal? Not sure. Trust me, I could recount some fantastically monotonous advice about how getting your eyebrows threaded should only be done by someone with at least 2 years experience, via the girl at the food counter the other day. You would think that the story would end there, but it didn't for some reason. It's actually kind of exciting if you think about it. It's cool to think that people can suck every ounce of juice out of a single piece of advice and then pour it all over you.
Just as I write this I realize that I am no longer going to even be remotely fussy about this. I realize how much this is a part of human nature. People wanting to impart their knowledge is not always an offensive move. It is frequently just their need to express the things that are rolling around in their brains. I do it, you do it, we all do it and so I should not let these little moments make me feel as if I am missing out on my purpose or anything else. In fact, maybe these moments are giving those people their sense of purpose. Yep, this is humanity and whether advice is given with a loving nudge or with a snotty shove, I will continue making the coffee and nodding politely and apologizing for things I didn't do and hopefully for the things I did do. And above all: I will continue listening to people give their beautiful - even if incredibly unimportant - advice.
I love everybody and I wish everyone the best in the crazy but awesome times ahead.