No Purpose

2014-02-16 19:41:03 by Krichotomy

There are times that I feel a lack of purpose and ability. Right now is one of those times. It's just another emotional storm to weather- it'll eventually pass.

What is my purpose here? I've always like math and science. I have obtained a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and am now working on a PhD. But I find it all rather draining. I can hardly do my research anymore. Even just thinking about work gives me headaches.

My main passion is writing (and performing) music, but I get exhausted of that very quickly when trying to take it at a serious pace. I also like to write stories, but I only have lists of ideas and cannot turn them into actual stories. I like to draw, but even when drawing is going well I get frustrated.

There are many things that I can do better than most people, but nothing I can do as well as a professional. "Jack of all trades, master of none."

Today I feel like I am just existing. I feel like humanity is not benefiting from my existence. I am only stealing the coin and food that was properly earned by somebody else. I feel useless.

I keep thinking that I need to quit my fancy research-y stuff and just take a simple job - something that is not taxing on the mind - so I can do my part to help the great clock of the world turn, and so that I can feel purpose to my existence, however small it may be. But I cannot quit now, as I am a critical piece in some significant collaboration. The pressure on me is huge.

I have ideas for music and drawings and stories to represent how I feel tonight - I have loads of ideas... but I cannot bring a single one to be more than just an idea. This entire world of creativity- locked inside my mind. I hate feeling this way.

I'm listening to this:


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2014-02-17 01:20:08

This blog pretty much sums up how I've felt about myself for the last two years or so. My sentiments and situations exactly, minus having an engineering degree. I feel as if I have no purpose, and my existence is currently meaningless. And that conclusive statement about your mind being a prison of creativity hits home hard, for sure. I think most people are that way, some people are better than expressing their creativity than others; while some just block out creative thoughts all together. I like math and science but my passion will always be music, too. I start questioning myself and get frustrated when I get serious with such as well-the main reasons I stopped pursuing music in school was due to a weak mental state about the issue. Later to only realize that I feel I'm not good enough in my current area of study, which will probably be a mental block wherever I go-the only difference being I don't need to audition to get in.

No one is immediately an expert. The fact that you have a degree in engineering, let alone working on a PhD, makes you have a set of practical skills that are more marketable than what 90% of other people have. I mean you are pursuing a doctorate in frickin engineering, not women's studies. Minimum offense intended for those who hold a doctorate in women's studies.

I have an ongoing discussion and newspost about this exact, existential state of being on my webpage, albeit being less organized and well written...if you care to stop by. peace

Krichotomy responds:

Thank you. I read a quote recently that said that we are critical of our own work because the reality that we create can never be as perfect or magical as the ideas that exist in our minds.

I did will getting the degree in engineering- almost all A's, top of most of my classes, the teachers all loved me... but it was freaking painful because I have trouble focusing on things. If I weren't a deep-thinking perfectionist I probably could not have done it at all. Can I do engineering for the rest of my life? Most likely, yes. But I'm afraid that such a job would drive me insane because of my sensitive mind that seems to grow more sensitive as time goes by. It does not help that I am never given time and space to take a real break. That is why I want a simple mindless job. So my brain can at least have a vacation so that I am able to see clearly what are viable paths for my future.

It is weird, though, how my emotions vary. Yesterday night was very strange because I still had all the same problems, yet I felt excited for my future. I didn't care about all the hardships - all I knew was to keep trying. I wish I could always feel like that.

I am reading your most recent news post. I have thoughts, and will try to reply.


2014-02-20 21:44:23

Sometime we thought we could decide to follow the path that we had planned ahead. The fact is, we never made it. It's always some obstacle that caused us to change the road, or to stop completely. Just like you and S3C, my goal is composing music. I've been telling myself that I should reach it. Today, I am fully 30 years old and it has been 15 years since I made myself that promise. I feel completely depressed when comparing my music achievements with other.

I read a book calls "Ignore Everybody" by Hugh MacLeod, and in one particularly part I especially love: it said that "we should separate our hobby from our career". What it meant is we shouldn't treat our hobby as a tool to make money, because if we do then we are going to quickly lose interests in our hobby.

:) And congrats on your PhD. The furthest education I have reached is a MCS (this took me a lot of sweat, blood, depressant & suicidal note...). If you feel exhausted, stop and take your time. I wish you best luck for your hardworking!

(Updated ) Krichotomy responds:

The main cause for my depression is not failing to reach my goals, but being too busy doing something useless and psychologically painful to have time to do anything useful and/or creative. I want to stop and take my time with graduate school, or, better yet, just quit, but... well, I just can't do that with the situation I'm in right now.

I was also depressed about not reaching my goals with music, but that depression comes and goes. It is more that I get depressed about that if I am already depressed about something else.

I don't treat my hobbies as a career, I do them at my own pace instead of having to rush everything, but they are more significant to me than my career and I do devote a lot of time to them. I do have goals that I press hard toward. :) Actually, focusing hard on my hobbies gives me purpose and helps save me from the depression of grad school.

Thanks for the advice and encouragement.


2014-02-21 04:11:22

Could this music be the secret behind them relaxation techniques you spoke of? It's a soothing tune, melancholy and hopeful at the same time.

I'm in a rather stagnant phase of life myself, not feeling purposeless as I write this, but that goes in waves, I think it has to do with how much I have to occupy my mind: when there's no time for thought then things seem well; I am accomplishing maybe not inner visions and dreams - but something. And when something is accomplished, the scale tilts a bit in favor of hope, no matter how small the accomplishment, especially in helping other people with the most trivial of tasks - I feel useful.

I don't really have any words of wisdom to offer here, you seem to be on the right path... relaxing... appreciating the details in life... looking for a job that'd offer peace of mind and satisfaction... best of luck with achieving!

Krichotomy responds:

When I am successfully busy, I am generally too distracted to be depressed. But right now with my research I am unsuccessfully busy. One semester I was able to not do as much research, and I took part in community service events and volunteer activities, and it was the happiest semester of my time in school. I was doing work that was useful and that didn't give me bad headaches and stress. It felt... good. Just like when I worked in house construction many years ago- my body hurt all over, but it felt good to /have worked/. With my grad school research, work feels bad, always. That is why I think I am on the wrong road.

Thanks! I'll try to take good care of myself. :)


2014-02-22 03:29:55

Is it research that doesn't interest you? That doesn't seem to serve a purpose? I feel like if you can find a job that you never want to stop working with, then you've found the right thing. It bothers me a bit how people speak of making a carreer just so they can get a good pension and relax once they retire. Living in the now's more important IMO, putting passion to good use, making work and life synonymous! What kind of construction work did you do? That's something I'd like to try as well, it'd be a workout and work at the same time, probably a kick of endorphins to make you happy; satisfied at accomplishing something. The big difference between digital and 'real' work is that you can perceive the accomplishments IRL, I think it has a large effect on how we perceive life in general when accomplishments aren't so abstract.

Krichotomy responds:

Well, I am interested in the research, but actually going through the grind of writing research papers and other stuff is making my head hurt quite badly. I want to do research, but I don't want to suffer through it.

I did mostly house framing- build the wooden frame of a house, and put on the siding, the shingles on the roof. My favorite was nailing shingles - it was simple and satisfying. The problem with construction work for me is that my joints all get injured really easily. It was horrible work for my shoulders, wrists, knees, and back.

Just thinking back to those days of construction work makes me smile, though. :)


2014-02-27 11:55:52

I treat jobs like ex girlfriends. If I decided to stop a job, I would move on to other new job. My rule of thumb is do not look back to your former career because it will cause you to fail in future job.