[noun; ~ Pronunciation: /pur-puh s/]
- Definition: We all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, to not postpone waking up. To have a feeling of belonging, of doing something worthwhile. That reason is our purpose, and it can come in any form it desires. Or not. In which case you will find yourself lingering in bed each morning, reluctant to get up and do something. A purpose gives us reason to live, to really feel we are alive.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all” – Oscar Wilde
Paris, 2004 (probably. I forgot the exact year I was there, but it was my pre-final year of high school, which I graduated from in 2005, so I’m guessing it was 2004).
Inside the Louvre, me and my fellow art class high-schoolers were on the lookout for the Mona Lisa. I had somehow always imagined it to be hung somewhere very prominently, with signs leading everyone to this mysterious, world-famous painting, maybe even a red cross on the map of the museum to point out where to find it, but nothing of the such.
But that day it was my sole purpose to take a picture of this majestic piece of art. I was not going to leave the Louvre without having seen the mysterious smile of the Mona Lisa with my own eyes, even if it was the last thing I’d do!
Today, I think I lost a purpose in my life. I forgot what it’s like to hop out of bed in the morning, full with energy, ready to take on the day.
Okay, I’ve never been full of energy in the morning, but that’s not the point. The point is, I don’t see a reason to get up any more and try. I have lost my figurative Mona Lisa out of sight, and don’t have the mental energy to go look for her. I stopped caring somehow.
And that’s scary, because what is our life worth without a purpose? What does it matter where you go if you don’t have a road to follow to reach your goal? Might as well keep your eyes closed if you’ve got nothing to keep your sight on, and go through life like a pre-apocalyptic zombie.
I don’t want to be a zombie (I always imagined I’d be a vampire, up until The Twilight Saga, Moonlight, The Vampire Diaries, etcetera emerged. They ruined vampires for me – where is Bram Stoker when you need him?).
I need something to liven up my heart beat, something to fuel my mind, a goal to keep me going and going until I’ve reached it. I need a passion, a purpose! I’m in need of a little help; who can point me out where to go?
In Paris, 2004, the help came in the form of Japanese tourists, stereotypically clutching their cameras as they were happily taking pictures of everything they saw. Curiosity got the better of me and I joined their long line, which seemed to be leading up to a glass cabinet attached to one of the museum walls. Not sure why they would want to photograph such a construction, I shuffled forward and then there she was, right in front of me. A teeny tiny painting, but grandiose in perfection. The Mona Lisa.
I gasped and took a picture (or actually a few, might as well join in with the Japanese gang). Mission accomplished.
And now it’s time to find a new one! Drinking tea and munching chocolate while watching TV isn’t a way of going through life, at least not for longer than a day or two. I need something more. My new purpose is finding a purpose in life! Stop being a lazy bum and get up and do something! Set something in motion. That’s what will get me out of bed tomorrow.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? (Apart from the smell/thought of coffee). What gives your life colour, and how did you find your purpose?