By Austin John Jones
For me, purpose is subjective; it’s based on how I feel. If I feel like I have a specific purpose in life, that motivates me. But sometimes I think purpose is a human idea someone made up to give me comfort. From what I can tell, people who feel like they have purpose get up every day knowing that their purpose is to do whatever they feel is right. And if they feel what they think is right, then they act on it so they can cope with everything life throws at them, one moment at a time, each and every day. I know that makes it sound like having a purpose is a struggle, and for me, sometimes it is.
For me, purpose is very much based on how I feel every day. Some days I feel so happy that I feel like I can take on the world. Other days I feel like my entire existence is pointless and a waste of time. When I woke on the first day of August, I did not want to get out of bed. I did not want to go to work. I did not want to do anything. But I called up my girlfriend. She told me to get out of bed. I did all my morning routines: brushed my teeth, took a shower, took my pills, got all my gear ready, got my water jug to keep me hydrated, and I went to work anyway. I felt like I was a zombie the whole Uber ride. Before I went into work, I went into my local Starbucks. All the staff at the Starbucks I go to knows me well. They are my friends. I asked for a venti ice coffee with THREE SHOTS of espresso. Didn’t do anything at all to make me feel better. I didn’t even get a buzz. I still felt the same.
I went into to work. I got into the back office, laid on the floor and played Hearthstone until it was time for me to clock in. I helped my co-workers do the pull-sheet for the orders for the day (I work at a game store that sells trading card games and have to pull cards every day). Then I went and got lunch. I had sushi and steamed gyoza at Niban, a Japanese restaurant where the whole staff knows who I am as well. Then I got a call from my wonderful girlfriend. She was worried about me, but I honestly felt indifferent towards the feeling I had been feeling the whole day.
Honestly, I think this is depression I am dealing with. Feeling like I have no purpose is a symptom of depression. But when I have only lived 28 years, and about eight of those years I have struggled with these mixed feelings of uselessness, no purpose, sadness, happiness, rage, hatred, goofy even at times . . . I feel like a very confused and strange person.
I love my girlfriend. And I never intend to make her worry about me. I don’t want her to worry about me because I am fine. I really am. There are just days that I just don’t feel like I want to live on this earth, but I know that it will be worth it if I keep going. I just have to be brave and strong. My girlfriend told me that. She said “be brave.” She is a very sweet and caring person. And I know she wants the best for me. And I want the same for her. I want us to have a great life together. Even on the days that I feel like I am so negative, or sad, or depressed, I know it will be worth it if I keep on going. And that is what drives me through the feeling of hopefulness. I know things will get better.
I’m going to be a father one day. I want to have children. That is my purpose at this point in my life. I want to have a family: a wonderful family that I love and care about. I would die happy knowing that I had left behind something greater than something I could ever be. That’s what keeps me going: love and family. So during those times when I struggle feeling like I don’t have a purpose, I try to remember what my goals in my life are: love and family.
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My name is Austin Jones. I am an artist, art teacher, gamer, and a storyteller and writer. I love my community, I love my friends and family, and I am on the Autism Spectrum. My favorite game to play with my friends is “Magic the Gathering.” My favorite video game to play is “Spiral Knights.” I am a Guild Master of my “Spiral Knights” guild: Altosk. I am an avid “Hearthstone” player. My favorite food to eat is Mexican food–specifically, shrimp and California burritos. I went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and graduated with a degree in Illustration.