DON’T find your purpose in life!

We have all been there. Sooner or later, you will reach a point in your life where you will ask yourself why? Why am I here? Why am I studying what I am studying or working where I am working? Why am I in this relationship, in this friendship circle, in this city?
And it will all play into the big, overarching, nagging question… THE question:

What is the purpose in life?!

When people don’t find a clear answer to that, they often despair. Or they go out search for whatever can make them complete…a partner, a mission, a religion, a certain type of job maybe?
But I believe that this is a waste of time, especially in your 20ies. When you’re 20, you don’t have to have it all figured out, you shouldn’t either. Imagine how boring it would be if you knew exactly where life would be taking you, if you had it all planned out, had all questions answered. And I also believe it is that continuous search for the bigger, better things, the greater meanings to your daily being that actually prevents you from living. Here is a daring thought: What if the purpose of life is just to live. As good as you want, as much as you can. Just that. Life is not always fair, not always rational and definitely anything but predictable. It doesn’t always make sense, it will toss you around and take you on some detours.

But, as a famous quote says, life is simply lived forwards and understood backwards.

So all of you out there who search and ask and wonder…don’t!  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you shouldn’t have any ambitions or dreams or goals in your life. I am saying that, while you’re out pursuing those, you shouldn’t forget to live. Over the questions we lie awake at night, the plans we make and the paths we travel on, we need to remember to stop every once in a while and realize the distance we have already gone. Living in the moment might be a hard skill to acquire but once you do, you will be so much happier. You don’t need one overarching goal in life to be happy, you can create your own happiness. You take the good things that are in your life RIGHT NOW and you don’t let go of them, you focus on them until they become all that your life is really about.
And yes, maybe that is a naive 22-year-old speaking. Maybe I would think differently if a loved one had passed or I got fired from a job or I was seriously ill. Maybe then all I could wonder about was why this was happening to me, how I could possibly deserve such cruel punishments. As of now, however, I believe that life is enjoyed by the minute. The other day, while sitting next to my boyfriend in the car, driving past Victorian houses in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury at night, I realized that I have already gotten so much more out of my life than I could have ever hoped for as a teenager. I don’t need to know what the greater meaning of my life is, I am creating my own meaning. And that’s the thought that helps me sleep at night…

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I love you to the moon and back

Last Friday, we graduated from college, big time.We had it all- gowns, hats, tears, tossing (both hats and champagne), speeches, hugs, pictures, food, you name it. Then, a day after, I had to leave campus, and the three years I spent there, behind and go home. But what did these three years teach me?

I learned that good sleep is invaluable, I only learned the definition of allnighter in college. I broke up with stress several times only to enter a friends-with-benefits-relationship with motivation. I learned that Portuguese people are very very sceptical towards Germans- when my Portuguese roommate of a semester told her friends she was going to live with a German, their answer was an astonished “By choice?!?!”. I learned never to be on time for meetings or parties but always to be on time for on-campus events that included free food. I learned that there is no plural for shrimp and the “l” in salmon is silent. Apparently, Germans count wrong- we start the “1” with our thumb. I was told that, although I love my collection of clothes that have the US flag imprinted dearly, I should be careful how much of it I’m gonna wear in the states….redneck alert? I acquired a sense for which essays I had to start weeks in advance and which ones I could write in half a day. Sunshine, a treasure rarely found in a city with more rain than Edinburgh, can make everything better, that’s for sure. Death comes and goes, losing a friend will leave a little hole in yourself and your group but also reminds of the unpredictability of life. Dreams don’t fall into your lap, you have to live to find them. And amongst all, I’ve been taught the value of a handful of good friends that accept you more than you accept yourself sometimes, that make you smile even if you just wanna sit in your room and cry and demonstrate and ignore and that better be moving to cities with good Skype connections!

And while so much has happened with and around me, while I’ve learned so much about life and myself, the earth keeps on turning as if nothing had happened. Well, then I guess it’s time to turn the page and start the new chapter. It is titled: “Chase your dream!” and will entail the year in SF and my attempts of following my biggest dream of all- moving to New York!

You expect graduation to bring with it a great deal of wisdom. So, here is mine:

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Cheers everybody, be good!
Sincerely, me 🙂

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