It's the age old questions, "Why am I here? What am I meant to do?" Questions that have probably confounded man since his brain could manifest some inkling of philosophical conjecture. I feel fortunate that my brain can manifest some inkling of philosophical conjecture. Unfortunately I don't have any answers.
Why am I here? To be honest, I don't have the first fucking clue. If we look at what I don't have we can see that I have, at least to my knowledge, not produced any offspring at this point. We can conclude from this piece of information that either I do not get laid, I get laid and practice safe sex and that I am, at this point, not here to perpetuate our species.
I also try to be a writer, it is what I enjoy doing most for paycheck and purpose. But my paychecks are small and I cannot get my voice past the media that exist in my local market. It would be nice if my words found a much larger audience, and nicer still if I could effect this audience in a positive manner and garner a larger sum of money for doing so. But that doesn't, at this point, seem to be why I am here.
I am not a coach or a teacher. I do not work for a public service institution. I have two businesses and still need to work at a bar to come close to paying my bills. I am not a fan of mathematics or physics. I find science and biology fascinating to study yet can pose no real original theories of my own. I don't sell or create pharmaceuticals that might save people's lives. I am not religious. I am not a soldier. I am not a politician. I am not an activist, an advocate or an associate.
So what am I?
If we look at what I have we can see that I am a bartender. Is my purpose to get people booze, make most people laugh and remove some people from the premises? If there is meaning in that, that why isn't it meaningful enough for me to accept as my purpose?
As a writer in this island's local magazines I consistently have people come up and tell me that they enjoy what I write... even when they have found only after reading an article that I was the one who wrote it. Some people like my words because they know me, other people like my words because they like my words. And I am sure some people don't give two shits about what I have to say... although they never tell me so. So what does this mean?
Am I meant to be just a local writer? Should I settle for this role? Or, if I continue to receive such comments should I demand more of myself; try to achieve a louder voice in a more prolific market? If their feedback gives me hope and enjoyment, is it okay to hope that I one day might be able to give more enjoyment to a wider audience? Is this a pipe dream, and if it isn't, why hasn't it happened by now? Am I a good writer, or am I so-so writer in town full of hacks? Am I big fish in a little pond so to speak? How do I stand up against the best? I can only assume that I don't stand up very well since I get turned down project after project.
But still I try. Why?
I feel without purpose when I am not able to write and share a voice anymore. It's not the paycheck (those are nice though, even if they aren't substantial), it's the feeling of not being able to contribute, to be heard or to have meaning. I feel depressed when I don't have a writing job to pursue... even if it's only a local one. So is a writer what I am meant to be?
As a writer can I be everything without being any one thing in particular. Can I coach, teach and serve the public with my words? Can I be an activist, an advocate or an associate? Might I be able to save people's lives? Am I meant to have lofty goals that I might never reach?
I remain as I was before I began writing this article; a son, an uncle, a family member and a friend. An enemy, a confidant, a competitor and a listener. A searcher and unsure. Maybe I was just meant to try. If we keep things simple instead of letting them get complicated, trying is usually enough. The effort, in and of itself, is usually rewarding if we can comprehend the moment that we are engulfed in.
Maybe our answers are simply to have our questions. Curiosity is the prelude to discovery. On the day when we truly understand that we will never truly understand we will find the ability to feel the true power of ourselves and the taste of wisdom.
Then again, what the hell do I know? I don't know why the hell I'm here.