Lately, I have found myself questioning my purpose in life. Certainly there has to be more than work, food, and sleep. As one who works in the medical field, my hunt for purpose started long ago. Why are we here on earth if not to help others? The human connection.
So why, if I have this knowledge, do I struggle so deeply to make said connection? To truly connect with someone, you must love. In order to love, you must be vulnerable. I am a person who has spent my life trying to fend off further harm and therefore, vulnerability isn’t an option. Do I struggle with relationships? Absolutely. Does it prevent me from finding meaning in life? I’m not sure.
I cherish the relationships I have with my patients but I also try to maintain a healthy distance. My patients are the sickest of the sick and unfortunately, their lives are short. When at work, I try to make sure I am always doing right by my patients. Sometimes, I fall short. Anyone who works in health care knows it is impossible to be on your game 100% of the time without it wearing you down. So you do what you can, when you can. And you try to remember why you’re there without getting jaded.
So this brings me back to purpose. Clearly, I understand my duties at work. But is my purpose to work all the time? What am I to do with my down time? Often, I find I am alone. I am most comfortable alone. But being comfortable does not protect me from subsequent loneliness. I often feel lonely. Even when I’m with people, I can feel lonely and disconnected.
So how to I fix this feeling of loneliness? How do I feel connected to myself and to the world around me ? Well, it’s a work in progress.. I still haven’t quite figured that out. But it’s eating at me. It occupies my thoughts, it isolates me as I try to discover what it is I need. But I am not sure I am going to find my answers isolated in my house
I need to get new experiences, experience life. I need to battle my demons. But how ? where do I go? Where do I find these experiences? Travel? Volunteering? Someone throw me a bone over here..
I had a very sick patient yesterday, a women in her mid 70s. She had a very loving family and was mentally all there. She was suffocating. I had a meeting with her and her family and told her what was to come and what our backup plan would be. She listened carefully. At first, fearful. But after coming to terms with the end of her life, she was strong. She was the leader. And the two things I thought were: “I hope she dies quickly” and “I hope she found purpose”. Two things I can only hope for myself when my time comes.