dis-ease · doubt · recovery · serenity · service

"What’s the Point?"

I intended to buy this book I heard about on NPR: Data: A
Love Story. It’s about how this Jewish woman my age, a statistician and
analyst, decided to create her own algorithm to “crack” online dating. In the
end, so it seems, she did. For herself at least.
So, with a wry smile, I went in to ask for it. They showed
me the general area, I didn’t see it, but perused with rare time to kill in the
early evening. I ended up with a book of essays by Ray Bradbury, and this funny
little set of them by another Jewish woman my age called I was told there’d be
I am usually loathe to buy books in general, thinking that
the library is one of god’s safest havens. And am especially averse to buying
something I’ll read once for entertainment value and then never pick up again.
But, my entertainment budget for the month hasn’t been touched at all, and I
figure I can pass it along to others, like the sisterhood of the traveling
satire. – After its purchase I actually sat outside reading in the fading sunlight
laughing out loud. What a
rare treat!
There’s one essay in which she reports that she and her
cohort are lost in the first-job abyss, each sector of her friends languishing
underslept, underpaid, underappreciated. And it occurs to her that she should
volunteer. Instead of focusing on herself, despite being the world’s great self-indulger, she decides to volunteer at the butterfly exhibit at the Museum
of Natural History.
Hilarity ensues.
But it struck a chord with me. I’ve been feeling languishy lately, too.
I’ve been feeling, What’s the purpose of it all. Why even try to strive for
anything, what’s the point anyway? Why am I feeding myself farmer’s market
food; buying organic food for my cat; going to the gym; meditating; reading; acting? Why
am I passing my time this way anyway? We’re all just passing time to an inevitable erasure. Why do anything at all?
Reading Cake girl’s
revelation, it occurred to me yesterday that I haven’t helped someone
one-on-one in a long time. I’ve been in a limbo of my own work, and until
completed, I’ve been instructed to wait before I help someone else in this area.
In the meantime, I could be looking to help someone in the field I already
know, but that hasn’t happened.
I hypothesize my own languishing could be offset my a dose of
selflessness and help of another person in the unique way that people with our
set of experiences can help another person.
Enter: Email this morning from a woman asking me to help her
out one-on-one. In the area I’m not supposed to be working in yet.
I’m going to talk with my own mentor about it. I think the
anchor of helping someone else would get me out of my own head, but I also
don’t want to pass along my diseased thinking in this arena if I really haven’t had the kind
of psychic shift that could help.
But. I may lobby for it anyway. Things are
all weird with me and my own mentor, which could also account for some
of this languish. I did ask someone else if they could help me one-on-one, but
I have yet to follow-up to set the actual coffee date to discuss.
Whether I end up helping this girl out or not, it reminds me
that some people actually look to me for help. That there’s something I do
have to offer that is unique in this world, and isn’t that the point in living? Could it be the point?
Not to live for
service, but sort of. Otherwise, I find myself questioning whether I really am
a Zoloft candidate after all.