Birds and Purpose


Last night I had two different dreams in which I cried so hard it felt good to have that catharsis. That’s all I really remember, other than sitting in bed with my father, and having a glass of beer which did nothing for me, then realizing I’d wasted six and a half years of sobriety on a glass of beer that did nothing for me.

All I really want to do is sit in my boyfriend’s backyard in the little chair he bought for me and stare at the downy woodpecker and the blue jays that have yet come to the bird feeders I bought for them. A few new birds came to one bird feeder but appeared to be unable to get the sunflower seeds out, so I may have to get new seed or a new feeder. I’m very new to this, so I don’t know what the problem is. I bought it for the blue jays, who are MIA right now, and I don’t know who the pretty little birds are that came to check out the feeder. Possibly chickadees, maybe wrens. Maybe the blue jays will be able to get the seed. A cardinal came to check out the suet I got for the woodpecker, but he couldn’t get to it either, so I moved it—but now I think squirrels will probably get to it instead. Another new, yet-to-be-identified—with my handy Backyard Birds app—bird perched atop a branch of the backyard tree (also haven’t figured out what kind it is—couldn’t find any good apps for tree identification) and a tiny little white and pink feather floated down and landed near my feet. I read somewhere that white feathers are a sign of angels, so I’ll take it as a sign of my mom. Speaking of signs, last night around 2:30am I sat outside and heard the sound of what I think was the quiet, distant sound of a barred owl only twice. This is the first time I’ve heard an owl since the week or two after Mom passed, which is odd because I’ve been outside early morning and late at night plenty of times. I’ll take it to mean all those other times I heard the owls were signs of Mom, because she loved owls.

I’m not sure what to write about today. Yesterday I had therapy as I have been for maybe six months or a year now and the time went by too fast. I didn’t cry, and haven’t cried lately, though I feel sad all the time, and tired. I have to work late tonight, so I can’t sit around all day staring at birds. My boyfriend has to go out of town to visit his kids, so I’ll have to stay at my house with my roommates whose presence is hard for me due to their insensitivity and lack of acknowledgement. A simple, “I’m sorry for your loss,” and “How are you holding up?” would suffice, but instead they say nothing.

I don’t want this blog to be a downer, so I’ll focus on gratitude. Some of the things I’m grateful for:

  • That I get to listen to and watch birds
  • Dried figs and brie
  • Kindle and the library
  • That I met someone who I love deeply
  • That even though I lost my mom, I had a good mom who I loved and will always love very much
  • That one of my roommates actually did reach out to me today, after I’d typed the preceding paragraph
  • That a pink and white feather floated through the air and landed at my feet
  • For the sound of owls
  • That one of my friends emailed me today


I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any doubts about studying nutrition, especially now, given that my mom, who lived a fairly healthy life compared to most people her age I know, lost her life due to a stroke, just like that. My original plan was to work with people who have diabetes and cancer, so it’s not like I’d planned on saving anyone’s life, but rather to alleviate pain and improve quality of life. On the other hand, we’re all going to die anyway, so why not just eat cupcakes? We avoid salt to reduce or prevent hypertension, but now there’s question about salt’s role in hypertension, so how can I, in good faith, recommend that someone eat or avoid salt? What if I recommend a food or a supplement that causes serious health consequences, or even death?

The underlying question that has plagued me for all of my life, especially now, is this:  What is my true purpose in life? It’s so frustrating now that I am inclined to just do something, anything, and stop asking what the purpose is. It seems like I’ll never get any answer, so why continue to frustrate myself in this fruitless pursuit. On the other hand, maybe I should just continue to search, no matter what it takes. There’s a part of me that wants to do anything and everything, including visit psychics and mediums. I suppose searching can’t hurt, and that it doesn’t mean to stop taking action. It’s just that my actions are expensive. Grad school will put me in about $120k in student loan debt; currently I’m $65k in debt. Do I stop now, while it’s still fairly low? Or do I continue because this may be the thing for me?

Unless some miracle happens and I find some well-paying job that I love without having to return to school, my question is already answered. I have to go back, because I cannot afford to live on my own otherwise. Also, it would not be fair to my boyfriend, who would have to pay more than his fair share of the bills, and no one should have to support someone else who isn’t their child. Still, I wish I knew what my future looked like. What I really need is confidence, and faith, so maybe if I just learn how to practice that, I will feel okay.

This is the song in my head right now–it seems appropriate:


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