I like my employer, and I like my new career as a software tester, and though I strive to be excellent, when I leave work, I do my best not to think about it until the next day. I’ll sometimes try to learn a new skill or read a book related to software testing, or write a blog post, but software testing is not what gives me purpose in life.
I grew up thinking I was going to be exceptional. Maybe every kid does. Maybe it’s my generation. And though I’m a little disappointed that I’m not running the world or making a widely known name for myself, I’m really happy with the life I’ve built. My marriage is nearly perfect — we have similar goals, complementary interests, a genuine enjoyment of conversation and companionship with each other, and a desire to see the other one succeed and be happy. I’ve found solid friends and fun groups to be around. I am getting better at singing and am truly enjoying it. I always have a project or two going, usually knitting. I’m very involved at church and am trying to get more involved in my community. I’ve taken up rock climbing. My depression is mostly kept at bay, though some days, it’s hard to get out of bed.
But is this my purpose in life? I hope I bring joy to others, I think I inspire people in some way, and I’m pretty happy right now, so is this what I can hope to achieve? I try not to be selfish, though that is my nature, and I can be rather self-indulgent some (a lot) of the time. I’ve been looking into ikigai and hygge — it seems that a lot of people are seeking purpose (and contentment) in life. I don’t have one all-consuming passion that makes me happy to get out of bed (and pays me), but I do have rituals and little things that bring meaning to everyday life.
This is a hard concept for me. My life is pretty ordinary viewed from the outside, I think, but it feels special from the inside.
Where do you find purpose? How do you define it?