Sprints vs. Marathons


I got into an argument last night with a guy I’ve been seeing- he said I should look into seeing someone for depression. While that was a heavy thing to hear, and I his behavior over the evening preempted the argument, what came next rocked me to my core.

“Yeah, you just don’t seem… like you feel a sense of purpose.”

Wow. Okay. While I may not have been depressed before, I’ve never felt my foundation shake the same way. And because this is someone I like and respect, my mind started racing, questioning everything I think and feel and I think I feel.

Of course I got angry, and told him off for overstepping boundaries and being unhelpfully critical (I will be posting soon about standing my ground in the face of these situations) after being angry and hurt, I realized that there’s some truth to that accusation. I have a general outline of how I want to spend my life, but a purpose implies something greater.

I like to evaluate words on their flavor. Purpose is so full, but not heavy cream-based. It’s almost rich without making the consumer lethargic- in fact I think it does quite the opposite. Like a rare steak (back when I ate steaks), it requires effort and has a primal flavor that prepare you for the hunt again. While I feel like I’ve been taking care of myself lately, and the world has responded warmly, it isn’t enough for me. I feel like I’m running, but never fast enough or far enough.

So: what if I am running without a destination? How am I going to gauge what is far enough?

It’s an interesting problem to run into, and one that I have been avoiding for a while. I pick so many projects that have quicker end results, sprints, so I wouldn’t have to think about what would happen when my passion reservoir is drained. Figuring out what it is that I am both consistent and inexhaustible in is going to be much harder. I want to choose writing, and lately I’ve been weighing out options in extended education that also silence my practical and independent sides’ objections. It just takes an enormous amount of courage to commit to my purpose.

And maybe that is not what it will ultimately be. Maybe it will change, or make itself known with love-at-first-sight fireworks so its unavoidable. Getting through the waiting time is, as always, scary. But making myself pick a long range target and begin my marathon even if I’m not sure I can make it. I guess I won’t find purpose until I shoot farther, aim higher.

In the meantime, maybe I will see someone about depression, but for myself and not at all to please someone else. Maybe being a little more selfish in my own happiness will be the solution on its own.

On your mark, get set…


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