Life’s Purpose

I’ve been struggling, more so these past few weeks trying to get a clue as to what my purpose in life is. I’ve been neglecting many of my chores, homework and duties to read books, listen to talks, answer questionnaires – all to no avail.
I have been so wrapped up in earning a living and raising my children that now that they are beautiful and independent adults, I am at a loss. I am making more money than I ever had and I do like my job and the people I work with very much, but I still have this vacant, empty, incomplete feeling. I’ve tried participating in outings with friends and keeping busy by taking classes that I think will help me to hone a hobby, or passion but that perpetual emptiness continues to reign.
I enjoy traveling and have done so extensively and expensively but even that is just a brief distracting interlude. I like to think that whatever and wherever I am, it is where I was meant to be but sometimes, the reasons seem unclear. I question whether I am using destiny or fate as an excuse to not work harder to find my purpose in life…where do I start?
I am open to your suggestions, stories of finding your own purposes or passions or questions that we may all be thinking…

“What Will People Say?”

galavanting“What Will People Say?”

“What will people say?” accompanied with the wringing of the hands and the let down look.  You know the one.  My parents must’ve used this line a million times while I was growing up.  It feels like taking coarse sandpaper and rubbing it into my flesh and then sprinkling it with salt and lemon juice…really, really aggravating!

I grew up in a culture where people did not mind their own business, needless to say.  For example, if I got into trouble at school and got lashes (they used to whip), I knew to expect some more when I got home even if I didn’t say anything because my parents would’ve already heard and judged.  They respected the teachers and so there really wouldn’t be anything to say in my defense.  Thankfully, I was a really good girl – avoided all that stuff.  My brother…well…that’s a different story but lucky for him, he was a boy and was less censured.

As I grew into adolescence though, that phrase continued to haunt me – when I wore clothing that my parents deemed inappropriate, when I asked to go out with friends, when I liked a boy, when I didn’t get straight A’s, when I spoke too loudly or sang popular tunes (Madonna’s Like a Virgin)…it went on and on.  Heavens forbid my father would have to hang his head in shame and not be able to look his friends and family in the eyes!

These days, in my fourth decade of life, my mother still has the audacity to say, “Why are you galavanting all over the world alone, what will people say?”  You would think that she would’ve deleted that phrase from her repertoire when I was going through the divorce process  and she said I should try to work it out because “What will people think?”  I responded extremely unkindly.  I ranted, “I really honestly don’t give a flying f*ck what people say, they don’t know me or my life, they don’t put food on my table or provide shelter for me” and I raged on and on.  My mom – she just became quiet and had that sad look on her face and I felt like a total heel.

Realistically, living in NYC, nobody gives a rat’s ass about your life whether they know you or not, but our families are still under that immigrant mindset that our community is a close-knit group and they will judge and you should do your best to avoid that.  The point is, our families try to maintain a sense of culture and propriety – something that is grossly lacking in mainstream America – and when you lose it, you lose a piece of your self and your heritage so I can’t really blame them.  Tell me what you think, just don’t ask me –  “What will people say?”

Andean Kiss

I don’t know when the travel bug hit me but I have this great desire to see the world!  Talk about expanding my horizons!

When I think of traveling though, I really am not too interested in the popular attractions.  I want to see how real people live, what they eat (I want to try it all), what their family dynamics are and being the romantic that I am, how they love.

I recently went on a ten-day tour of Peru – an impromptu Groupon special!  Yes, for those of you who are curious, I did go alone.  It’s funny that people almost always assume that you’re traveling with someone and think you’re either brave or crazy to go alone.  But I digress…

Yay, I was going to visit one of the new seven wonders of the world – Machu Picchu!  However, that was just a part of the tour and I must say that while this estate of the Incas was phenomenal and awe-inspiring, Peru is so much more, and far exceeded my expectations.  (See my pictures)
I had an amazing tour guide (Edgar) who was only too happy to point us in the direction of deliciousness such as cuy (guinea pig), alpaca, causa – traditional Peruvian potato dish, amazing fruits and my favorite, Pan Chuta – sweet anise flavored bread.   Edgar also answered our questions about romance – Peruvian style.  He told us about how couples courted and we all fell in love.

A teenaged boy would run out into the fields and stand behind a tree, and would then be followed by the young female who would stand a small distance from him.  He would pick up some small rocks and toss them next to her, after a while she would toss just one (indicating agreement) and they would slowly approach each other to share an Andean Kiss.  The Andean Kiss is done by men rubbing their chins on the women’s foreheads.  This is why most Peruvian men are clean-shaven.

Surprise rainbows!!
Surprise rainbows at Machu Picchu.

 

Machu Picchu - built by the Inkas, discovered by Hiram Bingham.
Machu Picchu – built by the Incas, discovered by Hiram Bingham.

 

Cuy - a delicious delicacy.
Cuy – a delicious delicacy.

 

Lovely lady from the Floating Islands of Uros, Lake Titicaca
Lovely lady from the Floating Islands of Uros, Lake Titicaca

 

Floating Islands of Uros, Lake Titicaca.
Floating Islands of Uros, Lake Titicaca.

 

Adorable little couple at the Raqchi Inka site.
Adorable little couple at the Raqchi Inca site.

 

Peruvian shepherdess tending her flock.
Peruvian shepherdess tending her flock.

 

This woman was driving her cattle and taking care of her baby!
This woman was driving her cattle and taking care of her baby!

 

Potato farming.
Potato farming.

 

Moray agricultural terraces of the Incas.
Moray agricultural terraces of the Incas.

 

Maras salt mines.
Maras salt mines.

 

Random view!  Amazing scenery all around Peru.
Random view! Amazing scenery all around Peru.

 

Hello world!

Hi,

Welcome to my blog!!  I hope this will be a forum for sharing thoughts, ideas and dreams.

I am forty-something and free – divorced, with grown children.  So excited to have some “me” time!  I am looking forward to experiences and dreams that I have long put aside and getting to know the new and independent woman that I have unknowingly become.

So, join me in my endeavor to discover my world and give me an insight into yours.

Kaisri