For the past twenty-odd years, ever since I was old enough to truly ponder it, the mystery of the meaning of life has taken up a fair amount of space in my mind. My emotions surrounding this big unknown (that I have tried so incredibly hard to find an answer to) have changed over the years from angst and torment to wonder and awe.
When I was a teenager, being unable to find this answer led me to believe firmly that there must be no meaning, no purpose of life. It made me feel trapped on a rollercoaster ride I wanted off of, and I was angry that the pain of life seemed to exist for no reason at all.
The first time I decided that it was okay not to know the answer to this question for all life but just for my own life, I chose a purpose for myself. I decided that my own personal purpose was to help people by becoming a pediatric oncological surgeon and to be a mother. It didn’t take long for me to realize in college that science is not my forte and that at least career-wise, I’d need to pick a new purpose for myself. And over the last decade, it has become harder to imagine that motherhood is in the cards for me, as financial and other obstacles have emerged.
Most recently, I’ve landed on the realization that maybe it’s okay not to know the answer to the True Meaning of Life. Or that maybe I was right in the first place, that it doesn’t exist. But I no longer feel negatively about this; I now find beauty in the mystery. This mystery allows for curiosity, creativity and a huge amount of variability in what each of us lives for.