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From here to somewhere. Tuesday July 7, 2015

Alice in Wonderland asked "...where I should go from here?" The answer was the question "Where do you want to get to?" Like Alice I must answer "I don't much care where!!!"

I am on a journey that currently has no clear direction, no maps and no known destination. All I know, like Alice, is that I don't want to be where I am right now. Am I the person I thought I was? Again, like Alice, I would have to say "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."

But to start somewhere, I am trawling through memories of my childhood, my family and upbringing - nature versus nurture. I am inventorising my values and the principles I hold dear, searching for the real me. Seeking my mission in life.

I am learning about the pressures put on me as a child to be the person my parents wanted me to be; teenage anxieties; misplaced and misunderstood behaviour; and actually, big surprise, to learn that I might even be quite a special person!! Well, in comparison with what I thought!

I did an Authentic Happiness characteristics questionnaire - all 240 questions and was not surprised that my top three characteristics were honesty, authenticity and genuineness. What I was surprised at was the rest of the positive feedback I received.

The biggest problem I have after having stopped work, moved in retirement and then divorce, is acknowledging that I don't seem to have a 'meaningful' purpose in life anymore. I am just not sure what I want to do with the rest of my life. As Alice said "I'm never sure what I'm going to be from one minute to the another".

I used to be happy just to be happy. In the moment, in the bar, in the party. Now I think I might need a greater purpose than social pleasure if I am to find true happiness and contentment within myself. What - I have no idea! But maybe if I work out what I can give/do/be I will find that missing direction.

How nice it would be to say "Why sometimes, I've believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

I do know that I can't be the only fairly newly divorced retiree whose life suddenly lacks direction and purpose going through lost and debilitating sadness. I know we all have different things to offer and different challenges to meet and therefore end up looking for different directions to take - I would love to hear yours.

Alice (in Wonderland)
A Moodscope member

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Leah Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 7:01am

You have found a new direction in writing the blog as your write so evocatively and clearly . You have a definite talent for writing and expressing your thoughts.
"who in the world am I? Ah that's the great puzzle." I think trying to find out who we are, where we are going, and where we fit in, is indeed a lifelong puzzle.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and emotions.
As I get older I find life and its challenges 'curiouser and curiouser".

Sophbrad Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 7:29am

Good morning! I had to retire from work at age 32 when I was diagnosed with MS. I had a long felt want to return to university and study art, so I knew what to do first. That was really hard, and I almost gave up at times, but I knew I had better study part time because going from being a vibrant young woman in a creative full-time job to being only disabled with MS would have been a terrible mistake-especially because, in all the upset and depression of becoming disabled, I managed to get engaged to an abusive man and had to extracate myself from that situation on top of everything.
I guess, what I'm saying is thank you for your blog today, Alice. I found I could identify with a lot of what you wrote. I remember thinking, 'Who am I without work? Who am I that I can apparently blindly walk into an abusive relationship? Is this a subconscious desire???"
So, to answer your question, I've fallen into a couple of voluntary positions, which didn't necessarily work out - in the sense that, because of my MS, I wasn't able to do even a little bit of work, and I actually made myself more ill. But! I made friends and found out that I could do things I never imagined I could do! It has taken time, but I'm not sure if it really mattered what I was doing because if you create a space in which to be yourself, you find out what a brilliant and well loved person you are!
Speaking of space, I am benefiting from a good tidy up inspired by Marie Kondo's ideas. It is very cathartic, and I wish I had done it years ago. It definitely helps you to see who you are and what sparks joy in your life. Here's a video:
There is so much that I've held on to for fear of forgetting the past (good and bad), or because I feel guilty or because things are symbols of events (good and bad). After a lot of soul searching, I have decided to create space for myself to live in the now.
My 'now' is not a straightforward place, but I think the best way to get the best out of life is to live in the present, unburdened by as much old emotional clutter as I can get rid of.
Sometimes I remember old stuff that I threw out, like old diaries, and I feel I threw out a lot of babies with my bath water. But, for me, it's better to have the space than be drowning under mountains of stuff that needs sorting and dusting.
Alice, thank you for your blog today. I'm sorry that this has turned into war and peace. My Moodscope score is at 94% at the moment, and I just can't shut up!
Have fun trying out new things!
Take care,
Sophie x

Hopeful One Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 7:53am

Hi Alice- thanks for that blog, soooo sorry to hear your series of negative events. As long as you remain in Wonderland sooner or later you will discover your 'purpose'. As they say the world is full of wonders but not many wanderers. I am reading a lovely book by Dr Ailsha Goldstein called ' Uncovering happiness'. It has many ideas and suggestions which might help you in your quest.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 8:04am

Thank you Alice for your well written blog. I woke up this morning with a question I ask myself having decided to leave my job - what is my purpose? I have worked since I was 18 and am now 51. For the last 5 years I have not been happy with work, knowing there is more and something for me. I have been successful and had senior management roles, but what is success? For 15 years I have been self employed and knew that the only way to find my vocation was to stop work and give myself time to identify what that vocation is. I am still struggling to find it, and each day I question - what am I? who am I? what is my purpose?

I have been to see a life coach, and read many books, yet still there is this obstacle - I am trying to identying what the obstacle is so as I can move on and forward

Thank you again for your blog

Mary Blackhurst Hill Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 9:44am

Dear Alice, I wish you an interesting journey as you find your life purpose and direction. I hope it is one full of challenges and joy. I was lucky enough to do a seminar on it some years ago and have found the knowledge of it immensely helpful; especially when it comes to knowing which opportunities to turn down as well as which to accept. You are at a difficult time, but with such an amazing and wonderful future ahead of you, if only you will accept it. My advice is to explore the delights of wonderland, but do it while thoroughly awake on every suit - not just Hearts! (Oh, and in case you are wondering - my life purpose is to create beauty and generate joy, all while having fun. The Moodscope blogs fit right in with that.

Melanie Lowndes Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 12:28pm

Dear Alice, I love your genuine, honest and thoughtful blog. I used to worry about finding my purpose until I read Eckhart Tolle's books (not sure whether it was The Power of Now or A New Earth) - he said something along the lines of if you are looking to evolve then that is your purpose. I have also read and like to believe that we are all connected at mind level - so if I make this (my) part of the whole mind consciousness happier then I am helping the whole. So my purpose is to follow what inspires me, what makes me feel good in my body and also to stay present to myself - whether what is going on is joyous or painful - learning to be with it. All my best wishes to you.

Melanie Lowndes Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 12:32pm

Dear Sophie, thank you for your thoughts and inspiration to tidy up. I have bookmarked the video and looked at a little bit of it and will follow it up. Love, Melanie

Anonymous Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 1:34pm

Dear Sophie, thank you! What a wonderful reply and how helpful. I'm so pleased you felt inspired and able to write some of your story. A moodscope score of 94% is truly impressive! Please don't apologise for expressing yourself. You have enormous strength in getting on with life and I admire your positivity. You also sound really happy which is lovely! Starting out is not easy and carrying forward the clutter of the past a burden worth thinking of ditching. Thank you for the link, my reading and watching (learning) list is growing. I hope one day I too will score 94%! Alice xx

Anonymous Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 1:35pm

Thank you Leah for your kind words. I am learning that I am late in coming back to this search after all the philosophising of youth. The busyness of life; work, bringing up a family, contributing to my various communities, etc., took over my life for so long that there wasn't time to question anything. It is daunting to think of catching up... But a worthwhile journey and the start of something new. To paraphrase, since starting my voyage "............. I think I must have been changed several times since then” I am learning all the time just now and as someone else has commented finding some purpose in the process. Alice xx

Anonymous Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 1:43pm

Dear Hopeful One, thank you for the link. All recommended reading gratefully received....I will "wonder" on...Alice

Anonymous Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 2:02pm

Dear Anonymous 8.04. So nice to know I am not on my own! It's a struggle isn't it? You were very brave though, and right, to give up work you did not enjoy. That is a soul destroying life. I am sure we will prevail. Our purpose will become clear. I wrote this at the start of my journey but have made progress since. I am so into learning just now that I feel really positive!! I wish I had a magic wand to help you (and me) find our way round and through our obstacles. I'm not sure what yours is, but I think mine is me!! Alice xx

Anonymous Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 3:28pm

Thank you Mary. There's an interesting thought - which opportunities to turn down! I hope I find the wisdom to know which is which! Not, as you so wisely say, just from the heart, but heartfully in spades and with aces and clubs (not too much clubbing!). May I say Mary that you do create beautiful words and generate joy in your writing for Moodscope. I shall have to seek out your books as well....... Alice xx

Anonymous Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 3:37pm

Dear Melanie, thank you for your kind words and also the recommended reading. Sounds as though it could be helpful. Although just looking might not be enough.....none the less I think I know what he means. The whole process of seeking is very enticing, there maybe more for me - I don't know. However, I do think that following what inspires might be rather wonderful and you do sound happy!! I hope you are, Alice xx

Julia Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 3:56pm

Hi Alice. What an intriguing blog. I do find I can be happy just in the moment, in the party, in the concert, with people I like. When I was unhappy and saw no way out for years, I always looked to the future and made plans. Now because I have escaped those unhappy years I tend not to make plans. But maybe, just maybe I should! You have made me think differently and not exactly made me reassess my life but given me the idea that actually I might be able to do something different with it. Reading comments and blogs on Moodscope over the years, has had the cumulative effect recently of being able to value the real me. I am not there yet but the support on this site remains constant and being true to oneself is one of the main adages which comes up time and time again in members' comments.. You hit on it when you mentioned pressure on our childhood from parents etc. Once those pressures and expectations disappear, the feeling of freedom to be just you is wonderful. I do wish you luck and courage in your Wonderland plans and directions. A lovely blog Alice.

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