Finding Your Life

 
I’m stealing information from the book Scary Close by Donald Miller, but HEY, HE stole it from Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning.

So let me break it down a bit. Originally, the thought was that man’s deepest desire was pleasure. That idea was touted around by Freud. But Frankl came a long and put it out there that man’s deepest desire is for MEANING.

And man, don’t you agree with that? I mean deep down, doesn’t that ring true to you? We don’t want pleasure, I mean we WANT pleasure but what we WANT want is meaning.

It just makes sense to me. We want MEANING. That’s ALL WE WANT.

I mean, hell, that’s all that I want.

Well anyways, Frankl is a genius and I LOVE how Donald Miller his ideas up:
 

Frankl theorized a sense of meaning was existential, that it was something that passed through us not unlike the recognition of beauty or a feeling of gratitude. And he believed life could be structured in such a way people would experience meaning. His prescription to experience a deep sense of meaning, then, was remarkably pragmatic. He had three recommendations:

1. Have a project to work on, some reason to get out of bed in the morning and preferably something that serves other people.

2. Have a redemptive perspective on life’s challenges. That is, when something difficult happens, recognize the ways that difficulty also serves you.

3. Share your life with a person or people who love you unconditionally.


From Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller

 
SO GUYS.

That was 3 Simple Steps to find your life’s purpose. Like, really.

So just to prove to you that it works, I wanted to share with you MY answers to the 3 steps. (And boy do I feel energized.)

So here is my life’s purpose, whittled down to 3 simple things:

1. Writing and Singing
2. Jesus, who brings a redemptive quality to everything I do
3. My husband and my future babies.
 

I wanted to elaborate a little on each thing:
 

1. Have a project to work on, some reason to get out of bed in the morning and preferably something that serves other people.

Writing and Singing

I’m owning my blogging now.  That is what I wake up to do (even if I don’t ACTUALLY do it regularly). And releasing my self from doing it professionaly has SET me free. I am truly blessed to be able to pursue my passions without having to consider generating income. My husband’s photography business covers our expenses and we’ve found a balance and a peace to the simpler life we have because I can stay home. Anyways, I blog just to blog, just to write and encourage others. THIS helps me wake up. It’s like an outreach, or ministry, even. This little blog is those lingering cups of coffee I wish I could take with every single person.

Singing is also my passion. It took me a LONG time to figure this out. I thought acting was my passion but NOPE it’s singing. I like singing because I get to be ME. And I like singing worship because I get to be me AND I get to commune with the God I believe in. I have the crazy, incredible, IMMENSE privilege of getting to sing in my church’s worship band and I absolutely LIVE for this. It bring meaning to my life. Purpose. Again, lucky me for having passions that don’t generate income… but I don’t care! These passions give me a deep sense of purpose and for that I am grateful.
 
 
2. Have a redemptive perspective on life’s challenges. That is, when something difficult happens, recognize the ways that difficulty also serves you.

Jesus, who brings a redemptive quality to everything I do

Jesus redeems all the darkness I face. I’ve wanted to die so many times. I’ve had my pits. But when I look at my life, my WHOLE life, I see redemption. It all just makes so much SENSE to me. Read Hebrews 11 from the Message translation of the Bible. That’s it for me. It makes sense in my bones. I am grateful for the glue of God that pieces meaning into my fragmented life.
 
 
3.  Share your life with a person or people who love you unconditionally.

My husband and my future babies.

And finally, family gives me meaning. Not that family is a cakewalk. Honestly, my extended family is full of crazies and I myself am one of the weirdest people I know. And did I mention my marriage is F@$*%! HARDEST thing in my life? It’s hard and messy, but my family gives me meaning, DEEP meaning. And we are looking for MEANING not pleasure, remember? SO yeah, marriage. It’s F&#@*$ HARD (sorry to repeat myself but FUCK marriage is hard.) But it keeps on getting redeemed over and over again (thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s a big job.)

As for my babies, I’m crazy but I pray for my six little babies every day. They are IN me. I know them. I know their names. (I don’t know whether I’m getting too hippie-dippy for you or too Crazy Christian-y for you but I can’t deny it. I am a Mother and it is my Deepest Truth. I will have my babies and they are a huge part of my life, even now. And NOPE I’m not pregnant. We have no sperm, remember?)

 

SO guys, what’s YOUR entire life’s purpose in 3 simple steps? LIFE IS SO EASY, AMIRITE?????

But seriously, did the 3 steps make sense? You feeling this? I feel like a new woman– like these things TOTALLY clarified and simplified the core of my life. How do YOU feel?

 

 
 
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Ranking the Worst Moments of My Life | andreaenright.net

This photo was taken one, maybe two, days after the worst day of my life. I feel like I’m faking it either REALLY well or REALLY horribly in this photo. And I honestly can’t tell. Can you see the sadness in my face? Or am I a fairly good “life-actor” who convincingly faked that smile?  I’m biased. I can of course see the sadness because I lived it.  Oh and MY how this photo takes me right back to that day.

Would you believe me if I said the last month and a half has been the darkest I’ve faced? And I’ve had some dark times.

Well maybe this was not the DARKEST dark, but it was dark.

First, let me walk you through the 3 darkest points of my life, in chronological order. They’ve all come in the past 4 years. LUCKY ME.


1. Depression, Summer and Fall of 2011
, i.e. right before my wedding and in the months right after. This is why some of you never got thank you notes from our wedding. A million SORRY’s for that. Maybe I should write a full blog post to explain that one. ALSO– this bout of depression was due to endless complications with my birth control meds. It spiraled down quickly and I was switching meds. And gosh. THAT needs to be a blog post too. Note to self– one blog post about my wedding thank you notes and one about my crazy experience with birth control pills.

2. Depression and sadness following a betrayal in my marriage, Fall of 2012. Now I don’t mean to keep this veiled in secrecy. I want to share the full story with you someday, and I know I will. It’s just a delicate topic and will need lots and lots of detail and writing and prep and work. I’ll get around to it, but cancer takes up most of that mental energy. ALSO– side note– my marriage is fully healed from this betrayal. God did a miraculous redemptive work and I can say I am 100% grateful we went through this fiery trial.

3. The Terrible Sperm News, February 2015. I’m too exhausted to give you the full FULL details (someday, I tell you!) but we found out BJ has no live sperm. This topic deserves about 50 thousand blog posts and I plan to write every single one of them, but for now, I give you this information, along with the information that pregnancy and having a natural childbirth is my GREATEST dream. (Now I’m a feminist and I believe women can be WHATEVER the HELL they want to be. Pastors, CEOs, Soldiers. But I have to come to terms with the fact that pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood is MY greatest dream.) And the sperm was dead and so were my dreams. It’s as if my heart and soul died with them. My world ended. And I wrote this. (Now since that post we’ve come to realize we have several options when it comes to conceiving a biological child, but that didn’t change how the news hit me. I wasn’t thinking rationally when the news hit me. I was thinking EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO HAVE BABIES. EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO NOT HAVE CANCER. We have cancer. We have no babies. THIS IS MY BREAKING POINT. I AM DEAD. TAKE ME JESUS.) (Have I mentioned I’m Dramatic?) (But I did mean every word.) (ALSO- I know adoption in an option. BJ and I plan to adopt 2 children. But we have the desire to have 4 biological children. And all of that is my dream. I want biological AND adopted children) But to wrap it up neatly– I have much more peace about our options and the timing of it all NOW. But I still want my pregnancy and my child birth experience. And I will never stop wanting that.
 
ANYWAYS.

If I were to rank my darkest moments, #2 was definitely the worst. And it was amplified by the fact that no one knew what the HELL to do with us. (Believe me, cancer is a MUCH easier crisis for people to handle. Cancer is tidy. But a betrayal in your marriage? People RUN for the hills. It’s too messy for them.) (Also notice how cancer does NOT rank in the Top 3 Darkest Moments. If I were to really “title” my dark moments they would be Depression, Betrayal, and Infertility. All of those were much darker than cancer. But that’s me, that’s from my perspective. I hope to expand more on that thought later. Stay tuned.)

So yeah, betrayal was the worst. Betrayal was Number 1 Darkest Moment Ever. Because it’s betrayal,it’s heart ache, it’s the breaking of a covenant. And it was pretty much entirely preventable. Now your greatest dream dying before your eyes (not being able to have a family) was a close second, and feeling depressed during what is supposed to be the happiest time in your life was a solid third.

Anyways, there it is. A ranking of the darkest moments in my life. I have no idea why I wrote this. I’m feeling great these days, by the way.

I guess I just want to be honest. Get it off my chest. I wanted to get it out there how I was feeling these past 2 months. And it feels safe to process it now. And I want to share myself with my dear little tribe.

 
 
So friends. Are you nut jobs like me who do things like rank their saddest moments? And tell me, what was YOUR saddest moment? Lay it on me, I can handle it. Seriously.

 

 

 

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453

I’ve not written.

I’ve not blogged.

In a long, long time.

In months.

And I’m okay with it.

I’ve learned so much in these past few months. They were silent and full-of-suffering, but I learned so much. SO much.

And I’ve realized that this blog does not exist for income-producing purposes. Not that that ever was the ultimate goal– but I always had that idea in the back of my head. The idea that I could someday be a full time writer or blogger or something like that.

And now I’ve realized that’s not me. I do NOT want to write for a paycheck, or the prospect of a future paycheck. (Not that I’ve made any money from blogging last year, except for the twenty cents I get from Google Ad Words every month. WOOHOO.)

I’ve realized I don’t want to be a full time blogger or have a blogging schedule or “try to hit the big time.”

Not because that stuff is bad, but it’s just not what I want.

(Lately I’ve been doing a great job at figuring out what I DON’T want to do. Not so much on the what I DO want to do part but just GREAT at the not-wanting-to-do part.)

I simply write. I write for me. And just a little (little) bit to build a platform.

____

A platform.

That word has gotten tossed around a lot lately. Everyone wants to “Build” a “Platform.” Online, of course. There are no hammers or nails or actual wooden platforms. The idea of a platform is building a group of people you can influence.

A platform.

It sounds pretentious, narcissistic even, like it’s the need to be valued and admired. Like “influence” is the ultimate currency in this world.

But I’ve realized the platform *I* want to build has nothing to do with any of that, and all to do with creating a little tribe.

What I’ve loved most about the very little writing/blogging I’ve done so far in my life is that it is such a treat to connect with people who “get” you. And through writing this blog I’ve felt like I’ve found so many people, many from out of the woodwork, who really GET  me. They see me and they understand me. They are my TRIBE!

And then there’s the incredible flip side of all that. Not only do I feel understood by writing, I’ve heard others share how my words have made THEM felt understood.

And that is my platform. That is the wooden beam I want to keep writing from. There are maybe 30 of us. 30 of us who consist of this little platform tribe I’ve haphazardly and wonderfully created. And I’m tickled to bits.

So I’m going to try to keep writing.

(When I feel like it.)

(When I want to.)

Will you keep reading it?

(When you feel like it and want to, of course?)

 

 

 
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When Something Bad Happens | andreaenright.net

 

When you get the second worst news of your life, you are silent.

Silent when you first hear the news. Thoughts racing, but silent.

Then the silent tears start coming. You can’t speak. Only tears.

You finally let out your big shoved-inside-too-long sob. You pray the neighbors won’t call the cops.
And then you keep on sobbing.

You think, anything but this.

This. This is my breaking point.
You sob and sob.
Some words are rattled off. You pray with your husband. He prays, you are silent and doubt God exists at all.

Husband retreats to finish the work you’ve assigned him:

Cancel our dinner plans
Call and see if mom can fly in
Schedule a counseling appointment
Book a massage

You tell your husband you’re done. You aren’t leaving your bed or sofa for the next 5 days. That’s just how it’s going to have to be.

You say to your husband- if this is too much for you, please call someone. My mom can fly in. People will help if you can’t manage to take care of me AND you. But you see, I need to be taken care of. Because all I can envision as far as I can see is sitting in my bed being sad. I can’t clean or cook or be happy or normal.

Your husband says he’s ok. Sad, but okay. This wasn’t his breaking point you see, he can keep going.

So he retreats to complete your list.

You are left alone.

You see the sun outside. You haven’t been out today. Somehow you muster courage to put on clothes. Real clothes. Going out clothes.

You bundle up and you manage to leave. You plan to buy everything you want. Real therapy won’t start until next week so all you have is retail.

You go to Rite Aid and buy anything you want. Fancy eos lip balm. That lip stain you love. That bb cream you’ve been meaning to get. The newest People magazine.

You get dessert at the coffee shop.

You decide you must get your nails done. And not just done, but DONE. You splurge on a pedicure. Then you splurge on gel for your fingernails. You choose neon orange paint. It’s a shock. It’s bright. It’s happy. You hope it might make you feel better this week.

You’re not quite sure if it will work.

But this is what happens when you’re sad.

 

 

 
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Something Big Just happened
Something Big Just Happened
Something Big Just Happened. Pippin.
Something Big Just Happened. Drowsy.

 

First of all, I need to get over the fact that my blog posts might not cover EVERYTHING I need to say. Often, I have a lot on my mind and heart- but I don’t write about it because it just seems too exhausting. I have too much to tell and there’s NO way I will fit it into a cohesive blog post. There’s no way people will read it. There’s no way I’ll have the time/energy/willpower to get down ALL of my thoughts…

Well, here I am trying to just go for it. I need to write more. I WANT to write more. And I need to get over the whole perfection thing.

Are you with me? You catch my drift?

With that said, today something big happened.

I unsubscribed from my Actors Access account.

Now this is the part where I would normally poop out. I have to explain what Actors Access IS. I have to explain why it’s significant I unsubscribed.

I’m already exhausted.

But I’m gonna give it a try. A brief explanation, so I can get to the meat of why this is Something Big

Actors Access is a website I’ve been a part of since moving to New York. It sends you several daily emails that tell you all the roles and shows you might be good for. It’s a resource for professional actors.

Well, I normally get 1-7 emails from them daily. And for the past six months I’ve been skimming them but then I always hit delete.

Well today, I just unsubscribed from the emails for good.

(This means I’ve changed something that’s been happening like clockwork for THREE years.)

And I did because I don’t want to be an actor anymore.

At all.

I felt this the second I got home from my summer show.

This isn’t my dream.

This isn’t my life’s work.

This is not what I am passionate about.

This does not make me tick.

This is not the career I want.

I don’t want to be an actor anymore.

Now there’s a lot, a LOT, more to say on the matter. And I hope to have the stamina to write-it-all-out. But for today, I’ll leave you with the knowledge that something big happened today.

I unsubscribed.

And I let you all know about it.

 

 

 
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