A couple of weeks ago I was pondering the meaning of life. It wasn't a thoughtless question. I really wanted to know.
As I watched Grey's Anatomy tonight, I had an a-ha moment. (yes, strange way to find the meaning of life)
There was one point in the show where the doctors had faced a lot of disappointment...loss of a patient...failure...watching people make choices that didn't seem in their best interest... and as a result, they gave in to the disappointment...
"I hate this job sometimes..." "I don't know why we do this..."
At which point, Dr. Bailey took them to a room and showed them a little boy, bald after his surgery, but smiling. The parents were hugging. Happiness. Genuine relief.
It was then that I realized my purpose. Sometimes it is to experience joy and sometimes it is to offer it.
See...joy outweighs the disappointments...the hurts...the pain. It counters the nay-sayers.
My joy is found in seeing Gustavo come home from his first year at UT-Austin...a tough year where he felt very overwhelmed at times...but watching him say, "It turned out good," and knowing that he now knows he can do it.
I experience joy when Katrina comes home from her first year in college and texts me to say, "I coming home next week. I'm ready to help you with whatever you need."
Or when Bridgette texts to say she is graduating with a BS in Psychology and invites me to celebrate with her after the graduation.
Joy is when Chuckie, whose family hasn't seen him in 5 years and didn't know where he was, comes through the food pantry and a family friend, community member, and volunteer gets his information so she can help his family re-connect with him...and then I got the first phone call telling me what happened.
Joy is not always that big. Sometimes joy is just found in the random phone call from a 24-year old I've known since he was a kid that asks, "Can you go online and look up a graduation date? I want to attend my friend's college graduation." But sometimes it's much bigger...like seeing someone get a second chance at life.
My life is full of joy. Sometimes I cause it. Sometimes I experience it.
It's not always at the exact moment I want. I, too, have been known to say, "I hate this job sometimes." Sometimes that pain, hurt, and disappointment can feel like too much.
But, for some reason, the little moments and the big successes provide enough to tell me that I am exactly where I need to be.