“Let’s just put our imperfections out there and see what there is to say.” I read this (or something like it) online today, and I must admit that I really like the sound of that, especially given the conversations my friends and I have been sharing lately. A lot of what we’ve been saying has to do with the way our lives feel so far less than perfect at the moment, and yet we see people – especially women on blogs – presenting these perfect images of themselves as women, as mothers, as spouses. . . and to be honest, we find ourselves comparing our lives to theirs. The result of such comparison is never fair, of course, to us or them, but still, we do it.
So in the spirit of putting my imperfections out there, here goes. I am entirely blessed. I have a warm, safe, beautiful place to live. I have been given the blessing of a time to write. I am loved by amazing people. I have pets that make me smile. I have more books that I want to read then I will ever finish. I hear great music all the time. AND YET, some days I just sob, and I don’t really know why. Some part of me deep inside feels entirely unfulfilled. Some part of me thinks, “Is this it? Is this the life abundant that I’ve been promised?”
My friend Sean (whose guest post from yesterday a> you really should read if you haven’t already) shared an honest, beautiful post about these very things the other day. He says:
I am 35 and find myself at that crossroads in life. I am struggling to figure out what it is I want to do. I am struggling to figure out where I want to go. I am looking for my purpose in this life. I am seeking the â€œreason to get upâ€ in the morning. I ask myself, “Is this enough?” “Can I do more?” I’ve had some cool experiences in my life. I have lived and traveled over much of this country. I have 2 wonderful children and a woman who stands beside me, championing me on. I have been very fortunate to make good money along the way. I have a “sandbox” full of friends who know me and are willing to tell me how it is. It’s not for a lack of things/people/experiences that I ask those questions. It’s completely out of a desire to be fulfilled.
When I read those words, I felt like Sean had just taken my inner voice and written it down for me. That desire to be fulfilled – it seems that so many of us, particularly in my generation (Generation Xers if you need a title), are feeling this lack of fulfillment.
I think some of this feeling may come from what we were burdened to do, as Josiah Bancroft says,
“We old kids are like china plates
on a high shelf of a wall, waiting . . .
We old kids, decked out in our Superman Underoos,
with our folks at our backs,
cheering our high, riskless feats,
in this deserted flea circus
that must somehow save the Earth.”
Maybe that’s it. I have not lived up the expectations I was given, the expectations I accepted.
Maybe it’s that “this side of heaven” I will always fill unfulfilled and a little bit empty. I’m willing to grant that, in part, that’s certainly true.
But I still think there’s more. I think there’s a dissatisfaction, an emptiness, a wound in our souls that I can’t explain. I just know that many of us feel it. I know many of us weep sometimes because of it.
So there it is, the honest look. I haven’t got it all together, by any means. I don’t really have any answers, but I hope that you will take comfort, if you feel this way, that you are not alone. I’m here . . . many of us are here, and God is here. There is the deepest blessing in that.
– I think Banksy is probably the artist for our generation