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How do I know/find my purpose?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Nekoshema 1 day, 8 hours ago.

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  • #163746

    Nekoshema
    Participant

    hi everyone, long time no post.

     

    i’m in the middle of a crisis and would like some help. The whole story goes like this, my life has been pretty much autopilot since I was a kid [my parents went through a nasty divorce and as the oldest I was told I had to step up and take care of everyone] as a kid I would change what I wanted to be every week, one day I was talking about trying to be a farmer because I loved Babe and I wanted to live on that farm, and my mom said ‘farmings hard. You’re good a cooking, be a chef.’ So I did. [hate working in kitchens] I went to college because my friends told me I had to [didn’t hate it, but it was pretty much lonely high school for me] eventually I quit working in kitchens and tried sales, and hated it [only job I was fired from, and it was due to my low sales] now I’ve been working as a barista for 5 years, don’t hate it, but I don’t love it as I discovered.

     

    what I love is making the drinks and the people I work with. What I don’t like is dealing with the customers [being forced to put on an act essentially so they engage with me as I make their drink] I’m fine with some regulars and I’m the one to answer the phone because I have this phone voice that pulls of friendly and nice but I don’t have to look at you.

     

    Wednesday night one of my coworker died. We’re all taking it hard because we really try to make work our second home, we hang out after work, and walk home together a lot since we all live in the same 3 buildings. I’ve been going through a lot of emotions, but what upsets me is he was that person who was always positive [which I want to be] he was always happy, friendly, making people smile, he would always light up the room. He also knew what he wanted to do, music. But I don’t know. He lived his life like a crazy party and he just knew he wanted to create music. And now he’s gone and I’m left wonder what do I want to do? He was 15 months younger than me and his life had a direction. He had extreme anxiety most of his life and problems just like the rest of us but it didn’t stop him, and I want that, but I feel like it’s something I can’t do. I try being happy-go-lucky like him and one stumble I’m reminded by someone of what a negative person I am and I go into my ‘it’s not my fault I have depression’ bubble and start to spiral. [kind of like right now lol]

     

    anyway, I don’t know what I should be, a job that makes me want to get up and run there to do my work, not run to a place I think is alright, but I’m working with these people so we can joke around later [don’t get me wrong co-workers make the place, but I realized over the past few days the job isn’t what makes me happy. It pays the bills and doesn’t get on my nerves as much as other places. It would be perfect if not for the customers really, I don’t really like dealing with the public unless on the phone because I can act like I care]

     

    theres also this part of me that thinks I should try writing again because my coworker found out I gave up on my writing and art and always insisted I got back into it for a creative outlet because I’m so imaginative. But I tried getting published  when I was younger. This girl [we hated each other tbh] was bragging how easy it was for her to get her short story published in this literary magazine so I tried. I tried a lot. I have a folder full of hand written rejection letters from literary magazines and I gave up because I realized it’s easy for her because she’s good and I’m not. About 5 years ago my moms computer crashed and I lost 75% of my stories so I decided it was a sign I should stop trying.

     

    sorry for the long, melancholy post. That’s just where I’m at right now. Wondering why I’m not optimistic, why someone so amazing died, what am I doing with my life, and what should I be doing with my life. If anyone has any advice to help me figure things out I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

     

     

     

    • This topic was modified 3 days, 17 hours ago by  Nekoshema.
    #163756

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nekoshema:

    I think I would enjoy a barista job so very much, a very appealing thought, for me. Your co-worker who died, what caused his death? You wrote: “He had extreme anxiety most of his life… I try being happy-go-lucky like him”- maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe it didn’t work for him either.

    What about dealing directly with customers do you dislike?

    Regarding your writing, your past efforts to get published and losing most of your stories: I don’t think the latter is a sign that you should stop your efforts. On the other hand, getting published is extremely difficult and so many, many people dream of being published and fail. Many of those who try are skillful writers; many others are not.

    What are your stories about? Can you share what about writing you like/d so much, what did you feel when you did write?

    anita

     

    #163760

    Nekoshema
    Participant

    thanks. He died of an overdose. Of what I’m not too sure, but I know he did acid and my coworkers worry he relapsed and started doing coke again. I know the whole ‘hiding your pain behind a smile’ but he wasn’t like that, he really was a beautiful person. He would come to us when he had a problem, it was just an accident which is what makes it so hard for us.

     

    im an introvert and shy, so it’s hard to strike up conversations, but it’s having to smile and nod while someone calls you an idiot for making a cappuccino with foam when they don’t like foam, or being told you don’t have a real job, or when I am in a great mood and I try to connect and people just look at their phone and ignore me. and I know it’s just ‘there’s jerks everywhere’ but a good portion of my success [to the district manager] is my ability to engage and have meaningful conversations and I’m a failure if the person is more interested in their phone then the barista trying to talk to them. We’re always expected to be ‘on’ so if I was waiting in line to buy a cookie or whatever, people come up and start asking me questions, or if I’m sitting eating my lunch again, ‘how much is this item?’ So I hide in the back and if I say ‘so this customer was annoying’ I get my manager, or assistant manager [two very positive people] question why I have to be so gloomy. Trust me, it’s a lot better than my last place, but my only stumbling block is the customers. I’m not friendly enough according to corporate which discourages me, especially when I would see him joking and laughing like the customer was an old friend and I just don’t know why I can’t be like that too.

     

    regarding my writing, it’s all over the place. A lot of emo teen poetry, some short stories that ended in tragedy, some murder mysteries, one fantasy novel, and a bad romance. I was thinking about trying my hand at nonfiction because it’s not the fame of ‘oh it’s Nekoshema the author of x, y, z’ I just enjoy writing and would like to make money doing it so I could be a barista or whatever, but not as a ‘it’s all I’m good at’ but more of a ‘barista as a hobby’ because I enjoy all the barista stuff, just not the social aspect.

     

    one of the last things I wrote was a poem series inspired by books I was reading at the time, the best one in my opinion was the one based of Silvia Plaths The Bell Jar

     

    Avocados and Caviar

    The feeling of nothingness
    Deep – useless – bleak
    Occasional twinge of melancholy
    But always this suffocating doubt
    Those distant days
    Of avocados and caviar
    Seem lost – locked away
    Or captured – in a picture – beneath a bell jar
    Do I love you?
    Simple yearning for more?
    Did I ever love you?
    Rebel
    Trapped in hell
    Crushing intense pain
    Let it die
    Let the sea come in and take me
    And let me die

     

    Its not perfect and it’s probably still sad teen phase but that’s probably the last thing I wrote before I gave up.

     

    • This reply was modified 3 days, 15 hours ago by  Nekoshema.
    #163768

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nekoshema:

    I am looking forward to read your poem and last post when I am back to the computer, no later than 17 hours or so from now.

    anita

    #163876

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nekoshema:

    You wrote about your co worker: “I know the whole ‘hiding your pain behind a smile’ but he wasn’t like that, he really was a beautiful person.”- I am sure he was a beautiful person even if he did, at times, hid his pain behind a smile. It wouldn’t mean his smiles were fake, only that there was much pain underneath.

    Regarding being fake vs being authentic: as your interactions with displeased customers, there may be ways for you to be friendly and authentic, not friendly or authentic. When a customer “calls you an idiot for making a cappuccino with foam..”, better not smile back, or extend friendly gestures to a customer who just mistreated you, that would be fake.

    When you have a lunch break, seems to me, you should be away from customers so that you have your privacy. That is understandable to not want to be interrupted on your breaks.

    You wrote: “I’m not friendly enough according to corporate which discourages me, especially when I would see him joking and laughing like the customer was an old friend and I just don’t know why I can’t be like that too”- be friendly in your own, authentic way, not the way someone else is friendly.

    Avocados and Caviar

    The feeling of nothingness
    Deep – useless – bleak
    Occasional twinge of melancholy
    But always this suffocating doubt
    Those distant days
    Of avocados and caviar
    Seem lost – locked away
    Or captured – in a picture – beneath a bell jar
    Do I love you?
    Simple yearning for more?
    Did I ever love you?
    Rebel
    Trapped in hell
    Crushing intense pain
    Let it die
    Let the sea come in and take me
    And let me die

    –This is a beautiful poem. You wrote: “Simple yearning for more?”- I wonder if the more is in what is locked away in you (“Seem lost – locked away”)?

    anita

    #164152

    Nekoshema
    Participant

    thanks for everything. sorry about the late reply, kind of all over the place [obviously]

     

    that was nice what you said about my coworker, hiding frustrations just came easier for him i suppose. regarding the whole don’t smile at the rude customer, i would if i could, but my work doesn’t like that. we’re suppose to go above and beyond for the customer, so we have to act super happy friendly and jump through hopes for entertainment. yes, we do have our regulars we can kind of be real with, but the ones you don’t want to be, those are the ones you need to impress. otherwise they complain to head office and we get in trouble. life still isn’t normal there yet, but it’s getting better. still, i have been thinking about it, and while i want to move up, it doesn’t feel worth it, like it’s just moving away from the things i like about the job and closer to the stuff i don’t, and i want one of those jobs that makes me want to go. i know there’s good days and bad ones in every job, but something i’m excited to do for 40+ years is what i hope for. it was very sweet what you said about being friendly in my own way, sadly my way of being friendly is to say something sarcastic to you and give a crooked smile. [this is why i struggle making friends, i’m scary lol]

     

    i’m glad you like the poem. in the context of the poem i was tapping into [empathizing i suppose] with the main character, with her struggle to be like the people around her. i really like The Bell Jar, but i have to be very careful reading it [i’ve been intentionally avoiding it during this week] because i completely feel for her, one of my favourite chapters is when she sits at the sea side waiting for the tide [why i put that in the poem] there’s been a few times i’ve gotten too immersed in the book and had to put it down. [maybe i shouldn’t connect with a woman who eventually committed suicide in real life] i keep getting these sparks of inspiration only for them to die out and i’m left looking around wondering why i can’t smile and carry a friendly conversation, or why i don’t know what i want out of life. i’m still trying, but it’s just hard when you don’t know how to narrow things down, or where to go. it’s twice as frustrating when most people says it’s normally something right in front of your face you keep overlooking like ‘well then how am i suppose to see it if i keep overlooking it?!’ lol, that’s the annoying part of life i guess.

     

    thanks for all your help, i really enjoy reading your responses to forums [even when it’s not about my problems lol]

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