it's amazing what a long walk and a bag of licorice all-sorts can do to clear the head. as i walked down state street, i listened to a martin luther king sermon titled the drum major instinct. it really isolated the root cause of the anxiety i've been feeling. the mid-twenties are a strange age. we have completed internships. we have graduated college. some of us have held "real" jobs. check. check. check. but there comes a point where you are faced with the choice of progressing down the path you're on to collect more checks (promotions, raises, etc.) and taking the time and space to carefully consider what mark you want to make on the world. some of us are lucky. some of us know deep-down we want to be teachers and our first after-college job is beautiful and meaningful and more-or-less pays the bills. the rest of us aren't so lucky. the rest of us take jobs as waitresses and receptionists and bookstore clerks because we need to reserve brainspace to figure out what we want, but the bills need to be paid in the meantime. and this is when we need to put our brave-faces on. this is when i need to put my brave-face on. there has been something missing in my life (besides lots of crazy-good sex with a hot guy). i haven't been feeling very useful to the world, at least not in the way i want to be useful. i didn't find meaning in a public relations firm, i didn't find it in a law firm, i didn't find it in a preschool (GOOD GOD! what kind of person doesn't find meaning in a preschool!?) but i still have all of this love inside that i want so badly to share with the world—it's even manifesting into a physical feeling in my chest, like a hand lighting pressing out from the inside. in the drum major instinct, king says:
i know a man—and i just want to talk about him a minute, and maybe you will discover who i’m talking about as i go down the way because he was a great one. and he just went about serving. he was born in an obscure village, the child of a poor peasant woman. and then he grew up in still another obscure village, where he worked as a carpenter until he was thirty years old. then for three years, he just got on his feet, and he was an itinerant preacher. and he went about doing some things. he didn’t have much. he never wrote a book. he never held an office. he never had a family. he never owned a house. he never went to college. he never visited a big city. he never went two hundred miles from where he was born. he did none of the usual things that the world would associate with greatness. he had no credentials but himself—jesus.
so i'm going to try a new approach and just "go about serving" in my daily life, being extra kind to everyone who comes my way. maybe that will tide me over while i go about finding my true life's work. because i want to be happy and helpful in the meantime.