Alice in Wonderland asked "...where I should go from here?" The answer was the question "Where do you want to get to?" Like Alice I must answer "I don't much care where!!!"
I am on a journey that currently has no clear direction, no maps and no known destination. All I know, like Alice, is that I don't want to be where I am right now. Am I the person I thought I was? Again, like Alice, I would have to say "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
But to start somewhere, I am trawling through memories of my childhood, my family and upbringing - nature versus nurture. I am inventorising my values and the principles I hold dear, searching for the real me. Seeking my mission in life.
I am learning about the pressures put on me as a child to be the person my parents wanted me to be; teenage anxieties; misplaced and misunderstood behaviour; and actually, big surprise, to learn that I might even be quite a special person!! Well, in comparison with what I thought!
I did an Authentic Happiness characteristics questionnaire - all 240 questions and was not surprised that my top three characteristics were honesty, authenticity and genuineness. What I was surprised at was the rest of the positive feedback I received.
The biggest problem I have after having stopped work, moved in retirement and then divorce, is acknowledging that I don't seem to have a 'meaningful' purpose in life anymore. I am just not sure what I want to do with the rest of my life. As Alice said "I'm never sure what I'm going to be from one minute to the another".
I used to be happy just to be happy. In the moment, in the bar, in the party. Now I think I might need a greater purpose than social pleasure if I am to find true happiness and contentment within myself. What - I have no idea! But maybe if I work out what I can give/do/be I will find that missing direction.
How nice it would be to say "Why sometimes, I've believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
I do know that I can't be the only fairly newly divorced retiree whose life suddenly lacks direction and purpose going through lost and debilitating sadness. I know we all have different things to offer and different challenges to meet and therefore end up looking for different directions to take - I would love to hear yours.
Alice (in Wonderland)
A Moodscope member