The other morning I had a bit of a crisis about my writing and my purpose. With red eyes and the sort of lethargy which comes from a morning spent sobbing on the bed in my bath towel, I tagged along with a friend on a shopping trip in an attempt to shut down my pity party.
First, we hit a few flea markets, which I loved. From old baby strollers to sofas to artwork, I perused the dusty offerings and wondered about the story behind each piece.
Stacks of identical chairs towered in one corner of the warehouse; the remnants of someone’s failed restaurant or hotel dream.
I saw this hot dog cart and briefly considered throwing in the writing business in favour of touring the country with it, ‘Chef’ style. Only I am a crappy cook and vowed never to work in customer service again.
Afterwards we ended up at Costco in Puerto Vallarta. I’d never been before and was a little excited to see what bargains lay inside.
A large round of Brie cheese and a huge tub of hummus sat in the bottom of my gigantic cart as I pushed it down the aisle.
Turns out there really wasn’t much that I needed, let alone wanted, except of course, CHEESE.
I felt like I had failed to live up to Costco’s expectations of ‘buy hard or go home’.
Then I came across this.
A shoe rack.
A rack for your shoes.
I had a flashback to the days when shoe racks were a rather important item to me. I needed a rack, several actually, to house all my shoes, most of which I hardly wore.
I looked at this storage rack for shoes like an alien thing. A frantic feeling rose up in me as I remembered my previous attempts to organize, store and accumulate products, back when I had a job, an apartment and deep well of discontent within me which I tried to fill with ‘stuff’.
I was a total consumer back then and it gave me such an empty feeling. There was never enough stuff or storage to hold said stuff to make me feel complete. I think that was the whole idea, actually.
Standing in Costco with a near-empty cart and a lack of desire for anything in the mega-store, I remembered something I’ve known for a while.
I wasn’t born to simply consume. I was born to create.
Suddenly my existential crisis about my purpose seemed like a pretty good one to be having, compared to my old ones of how I would organize my shoes.
I was immediately grateful that my big problem of the day was questioning how I can best Show Up in the world in order to help others feel more connected, rather than how to assemble a shoe rack with a damn Allen key.
I realised then that no matter what doors may open or close for me, I’ll continue creating things I think will move me closer to my vision (however hazy it may be) because it’s this process by which I am transformed.
And perhaps my only purpose is to grow more and more into the person I was created to be, while encouraging others to do the same.