Purpose, or lack thereof.

  January 13th, 2018 by dividebyzero

I was raised with a very traditional American idea of the path to success. Work hard, get good grades, always try to be the best, graduate from a good college, and you’ll be able to do or have whatever you want. That’s what I was told throughout my childhood. It was linear, logical, and very appealing for a borderline Aspie like me. And it kinda worked. Problem was, once I got that college degree and finished checking all of those boxes, I had no clue what the hell I actually wanted.

I spent the next several years going in a completely different direction, trying things that I thought might be fulfilling and failing at them mainly due to anxiety or lack of emotional intelligence. So a few years ago I just fell back on what I already knew how to do, even as I slowly began to realize I didn’t like it all that much. Since then I’ve been mostly functional, but also chronically depressed and just kind of dead inside.

I have very few goals or motivations at this point. Lots of people seem to be motivated by money, status, etc, but those things never mattered much to me. Love and relationships have consistently proven to be more trouble than they’re worth. Some people I know can motivate themselves internally, pursuing self-improvement for its own sake, but after spending my entire childhood and adolescence pursuing external rewards I don’t seem to be capable of that. However, without some sense of purpose — some reason to get up in the morning beyond not getting fired and maintaining my veneer of being functional — I don’t know how to keep the assholes and hassles of everyday life from slowly eating away at me.

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