I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Sunday, February 21, 2010
"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day." Rainer Maria Rilke, "Letters to a Young Poet"
I have been on a quest for most of my life to find meaning. As I age, I feel as though I'm running out of time. It is a difficult quest, because I don't exactly know what it is I am looking for, but I know it is still to be found. I have this strong belief that when it is found...or rather, when I am found, I will know because there will be a definitive click. It will resemble the moment when after fumbling through the dark, the light switch is finally located. I imagine I will feel a sense of getting it; a sense of knowing what was once unknown. And at that moment, life will feel right and balanced.
Until that moment arrives, however, I continue to search. I am almost certain it is why I continually start many things, but finish few. I repeatedly read books, search websites, attend classes, start projects, and have even talked to counselors, but inevitably give up. Often, I will read something or hear something that strikes a chord, but then I don't know how to process the information. Part of the problem is my defective personality traits of being a perfectionist with OCD tendencies; strong in my beliefs that there is a right way to do everything and it has to be done perfectly. Even something so simple as buying a clothes hook for the bathroom incurred much time and expense. I bought multiple hooks and although they were good enough at the time, they never felt quite right. Then one day, while shopping at Target, I found the right one, which had multiple hangers, didn't stick out too far, and fit perfectly over the door. Every area of my life resembles the search for that clothes hanger. Whether it be something as simple as choosing jewelry I want to wear with an outfit or complex as organizing an area of my life, I will drive myself nuts searching for the "perfect fit".
I find that as I get older, I want to live a simpler life with less stress. Yet, I find it difficult to change those traits that hinder my growth. I also find that I'm hesitant to start any new endeavors, fearing I will not complete what I start. Worse still, I fear one day I will look back and reflect on my life and feel disappointed in not having accomplished more. What then, do I do now? There are areas in my life that require attention and I would like to formulate a life plan to improve those areas. I know I need to start by making small changes and to take small steps, and Nike emphatically reminds me to "Just Do It!". I guess that's where I start....determining what "it" is.