May 25, 2015 admin

PURPOSE: I HAVE NO CLUE

by Alicia Crawford

Age 23. Washington, DC

I get awfully nostalgic for the teenage nights I spent professing my deep understanding of the world to my equally self-righteous and naïve friends. Obviously I knew nothing, but at least I felt like I did. Now I feel as if I have no clue what the purpose of life is. I hate it. I want to believe my purpose is to be selfless and dedicate my time to a cause I care deeply about. In that vein, I recently quit a lucrative government job as an editor to take a communications position at a local environmental non-profit. I doubled my commute, cut my salary nearly in half, and for what? To feel better about myself?

Obviously I knew nothing, but at least I felt like I did. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make an impact. I feel like, even if I put in the hard work and made a career out of this, how are we going to fix the issues of the future when so few people seem to care? And don’t get me wrong, I get it. It’s not possible for a healthy, mentally stable adult to actually care about hungry kids, poverty, AIDS, polar bears, pollinators, the 99 percent, feral cats, the NSA, mosquito nets, deforestation, and Nepal. It’s easier to tune it all out and pour your passion into Tom Brady’s right arm.

It’s hard to see my peers off in their own little worlds with kids and pets and yards, seemingly unconcerned with what I see as the obvious decline of not only our society but of our world. Witnessing the nonchalance and indifference that brings so many people contentment makes me wonder, what if ignorance actually is bliss? Should I just give in, buy a house in some cookie-cutter subdivision ironically named Flower Valley, and live out my life in conscious denial? 

I do know this. All we are, are our actions, and hopefully when all’s said and done, my actions will have had purpose. 

Practically speaking, the purpose of my life at this moment is to pay off my student loans and figure out what the hell I’m doing. I don’t know that there is some grand purpose. I’ve experimented with the idea of God. But I can’t seem to shake the oddity of dedicating my life to someone I won’t meet till I’m dead. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I inevitably wind up with cancer from the sun, or from the genetically modified corn that’s been given to me in every possible form since I had teeth, or worse, from gluten.

I do know this. All we are, are our actions, and hopefully when all’s said and done, my actions will have had purpose.

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