By Kenneth Stepp
Becoming single again after twenty four years with one girl was much more painful that I thought it could be. There are simply things you do not think about. Like money, where I’d live, and most of all, how much dating had changed in all those years. There are other things too. Although I had a lot of great experiences over the years after becoming single, I was not happy in the least. I was missing something vital but could not put my finger on what it was. Years of wandering around in this sea of singles taught me that I was missing purpose. There is an old Jewish saying about purpose. That a man has to have something to do every day. “A man has to have a place to go”. I get that now.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
I work for myself and from home. It can be lonely and we can lose perspective quite quickly if we don’t get out and engage others. I have my friends to help with that and I have some really great friends I’ve made along the way in the singles community, many I met online, many were potentials at one point. So how does a person go from potentially being “the one” to great friend? If I knew that I would know more than most. But it happens and it happens often. My friends on some level became my purpose in life. I work to pay bills, but paying bills is not my purpose. Work isn’t either. A man’s purpose should have more to do with others than himself, his career, or his stuff. It has everything to do with how he makes others feel by being a part of his life. Not how they make him feel or what they can do for him.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
About 14 months ago I met a girl. Our meeting wasn’t monumental, she was nice, she was attractive too. We met on a dating site and decided to meet for lunch one day. It was a great conversation, she had to get back to work and I had to go back home and finish my work too. Our conversations began to fade away and we didn’t speak for months. One day she text me and asked If I would check out some guy she was going to rent her master suite out to, she said he gave her the creeps and she remembered I use to be an investigator. What she didn’t know is that my lease was up and I was looking for a place in her town because I did a lot of business there. And as they say, the rest is history…
“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others” – Albert Schweitzer
I gave up a lot of privacy when I moved in here but gained so much more. Today I have someone who needs me, or I tell myself she does. No one has needed me since I was in an intact family five and a half years ago. She leaves the house at 6:30 am and doesn’t get home till 8:00 pm most evenings. I learned to cook so I can have dinner ready for us when she gets home, I run errands, do laundry, and ask how her day was when she comes home each night. We aren’t lovers, romantic, or even just friends, we are family. My frustrating life without meaning has gone away and replaced with a purposeful one. I didn’t just gain a friend, I gained a family. When I visit my family in Kentucky, she goes too, they are her family as well. My life is in an intact family once more. It may look different to some, but it works for me. Happiness was elusive for me, and now it isn’t.
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them” – Dalai Lama
Find your purpose, give yourself away, be the reason someone smiles today. I end with the same words I use all the time, “just be nice”. Only good can come out of being nice.