I’ve always believed that life was meant to have meaning. That we are here for a purpose. That there should be fulfillment and a sense of contentment and “rightness” about where we are, what we are doing and who we are doing it with. This belief has been a motivating factor for me. It has driven me to keep going when I wanted to give up. It has kept me searching and trying and working when I could barely drag myself out of bed due to overwhelming depression and discouragement. I have been looking for some meaning and purpose for a long time now. I haven’t found it yet, though I’ve been on this quest for years and years and years. And I’m beginning to wonder if I got it wrong. I’m beginning to wonder not only if my life matters at all, but if it is even supposed to. I have reached a point – finally – where I no longer believe that if I do the right things and strive to be the right kind of person, good things will come my way. It has taken me a long, long time to grasp on a deep level that life is unfair. That it is an exception to find someone with a life that is full and blessed and overflowing. It has been difficult for me to understand life is a struggle with maybe, if we’re very lucky, a few good things stuck in here and there, in the midst of all the pain and despair. And there is no meaning in the struggle. It is simply a symptom of being alive on this planet. To exist means to travail. Very few of us get to do more than exist. For years I thought I would be one of those who got to experience the goodness of life. Because I was working so hard to do everything right. To be everything right. But I was totally deceived. I am nothing but a worker ant in the colony of life. My place is to trudge to work, trudge home, pay the bills, eat, sleep and do it all again the next day. No joy. No hope. No dreams. No wonder. Just do what has to be done. Exist. And then, someday I will die and escape this horrible place. It appears to be the best I can hope for. If you want to call it hope. No amount of doing the right thing will ever make my life good or right or happy. No amount of being a good person will ever make my world a joyful, meaningful, exciting adventurous place to be. My job will not bring purpose to my life. I have no purpose to fulfill. No role that was meant for me. I truly am nothing. A person of no consequence. When I was sixteen and dreaming of escaping my abusive parents, I never imagined my life would come to nothing. That I would never, ever be loved. That my dreams would die one after the other after the other until I had nothing left to dream or believe or hope for. I never once doubted I would be someone who would make a difference in the world. That I would achieve and accomplish and find love and meaning and worth. I was a fool. But I think I am finally, at long last, wising up. It has been a painful process. A grueling death. But I’m beginning to see the full, albeit bleak, picture. We were not destined to find happiness and contentment. We were not predestined to be loved or to discover our perfect place in the order of things. We were cursed. From the moment we were cast out of the garden of Eden until now, the curse remains and flourishes. If we are fortunate enough to have joy, it is a fluke. Our destiny is to toil and die. I don’t know if it is better to understand that life is not a pleasant place…or if it is better to remain ignorant of this fact. I don’t know if it is better to have lost hope or to still have some. To finally realize that life makes no promises and that the effort you put into doing well and being the best you can be doesn’t actually matter because there are too many things that are not in your control. Cause and effect is skewed. You may be lucky. You may not. You may work hard and continually get screwed or you may work hard and be rewarded richly. You may do the right thing and be destroyed or you may do the right thing and be promoted, celebrated, admired. Who you are and what you are doesn’t guarantee an outcome. Happiness is not a birthright. Despair is. If you expect the right things to happen because you do the right things, you are going to be continually disappointed. Expectations are tricky animals. Sometimes, it seems to me, it might be better not to have any. I have had them…my entire life. I have built my world around them, only to have those expectations destroy me time and time again. I have not gotten what I deserved, good or bad. So maybe expecting good things to come from good actions is unwise. Maybe it is better not to expect. Not to hope. Not to believe. Not to dream. Not to seek purpose where there is none to be had. This world is a hostile place. If we are lucky enough to find a small garden of pleasure somewhere in all the hostility and darkness, that is a wonderful reprieve, but it is not to be expected, nor is it probable. We are constantly under attack. The odds are not in our favor. Therefore, expecting good things and expecting to find meaning in a meaningless land is rather unrealistic. I think I have lived too long in my fantasy world. Believing. Hoping. Now, I’m tired. Nothing good has come from dreaming. So perhaps it is time to embrace the fact that this is the best it will be. Drudgery is the norm, not the exception. Having to battle my way every day just to survive is to be expected. Having to struggle is standard. Expecting more is foolish. And I have been a fool; a foolish dreamer. Reality calls. It is ugly and horrid, but it must be faced. The time has come. I hate this. I hate my life. And it would seem, I am living the curse in its full glory. I used to think I could escape. That God would carve me another course because I followed Him. I was sadly mistaken. He has not set me free from the boundaries of the world in which I live. Nor has He given me a reason to exist here. I walk through each moment of each day clothed in darkness and despondency. I am broken and broken-hearted. I expected more. But it was not realistic on my part to expect. It was unrealistic to believe I could flourish and soar when I was not given roots with which to grow or wings with which to fly. I have longed to be happy in an unhappy world on a cursed and doomed planet. Time to face facts. Time to let go of foolishness. Time to stop expecting something more than what I have. Time to stop expecting something better. Time to stop expecting.