Meet purpose, your lifelong stalker.
This stalker is invisible. Like your own shadow, its presence looms around your peripheral, waiting for you take notice. It manifests its presence in the strangest, most random circumstances - as you prepare for your daily report, have lunch with your colleagues, jam to your Spotify morning commute, space out in a meeting, or lie in bed wide awake contemplating where your life is headed.
Maybe you've always known your purpose as a child. But you snubbed it for worldlier "purposes" - killing hours for play and imagination to secure a slot in a program you don't care about, or doing things just for the sake of adding lines to your resume. Or maybe you took the drastic route and lived abroad to distract yourself.
Your stalker watches from a considerable distance as you hop from one job to another. Some get lucky, for their internal compasses align with the needs of the world at the third attempt to be a productive member of society. But for others, external motivators, like a high salary or health care package, distract from claiming ones true purpose. Things may look good on paper but for some reason nothing feel right. As you continue justifying to yourself where you are, you begin drifting through life, marching towards the grave you dug for yourself, burying your creative spirit in the process.
If you continue lying to yourself, you could begin drinking with an amount that is directly proportional to the amount of money you are making and the stress that comes with it. Or at one point take medication to quell some form of ache masked as your typical migraine but is a symptom of some other form of pain - the pain of neglect. In extreme cases, the “neglect” disease starts as a recurring cold that ends up as the flu until you find yourself at the hospital in your quest to find a piece of the world - only to forget yourself.
Some are lucky, because to them, all of this is worth it. It was just burnout, that is all. They can go back into the world after such hiatus with a renewed sense of ambition and pride knowing that they are willing to live and die for the craft meant exactly for people like them. There is nothing wrong with that. For others, life seems to have given them no option due to obligations to fulfill, so they make it work no matter what.
More often than not, regardless of what burdens you carry, you find yourself breaking down. Your outer facade has given in to a force beyond your comprehension. You don’t know where it came from or where it will lead, but boy, it feels good. You feel alive. You found that verb that encompasses your entire being and it is flowing through you. You found that force that is meant to be shared and not kept inside. But you don’t know where to start. As you begin to doubt this feeling yet again and deprive it of its place in your life, your mind sensibly comes up with strategies to deal with anxiety and uncertainty, analyzing how much time and money you need to own up to who you are meant to be.
Your lifelong stalker is your purpose, your missing piece, your best self. If you don’t find it, it will find you. If you reject it, it will come back. If you ignore it, it will scream louder.
So don’t be afraid to walk on water. Trust that inner force that pounds louder with the passing of time. Take that risk that may seem crazy to others but makes sense to you, because after years of ignoring it you’ve finally allowed yourself to fully live for something greater than yourself. Choose the path that makes you feel most alive. Otherwise, continue withering and living a half-life, with the heavy burden of never even trying, eventually dying from the disease of neglecting your lifelong stalker - waiting in the shadows of the life you were meant to live.
A piece of advise from Davao's D' Bone Collector Museum