August 15, 2012

My purpose is no purpose. I give up! ~ Tanya Mah

Photo: Matthew Grapengieser

Bugger purpose: I’m just having fun.

I’ve been stumped on a few things recently.

Why don’t the trains ever run on time? Why is it so cold? Why do people look so miserable? (Maybe it’s because their train is late and they’re bloody freezing).

I’ve just had this annoying, niggling feeling that something is missing. I can‘t shake it—and it’s been driving me mental!

Everyday I get up, get dressed and commute to work. Sometimes I go to yoga; other days I meditate. I pay my bills, hang out with my friends and family and do the normal life-chores that we all do, but this feeling of discontent and restlessness just kept growing and getting bigger.

While nothing is wrong, and everything seems good on the surface—nothing has felt quite right either.

Photo: jon obsworth

I realized that my overarching issue or question was What is my purpose? What’s getting me up every morning? What’s driving me to create, motiving me forwards and propelling me into something new?”

Truth be known, not that much.

I have no burning desire to save humanity, cure disease or help the poor.

My reasons or motivations are far less noble and are generally self-gratifying or just for sh*** and giggles.

Since I started a new job, I’ve become even more aware of my general lack of purpose. Lets face it: I’m a graphic designer; my job is to make stuff look pretty.

Faced with total hopelessness and a sense of impending doom, I put on my big girl panties and sat in meditation after almost hyperventilating from pranayama (Hey, I like to be thorough!) and sat and waited for inspiration.

Nothing came.

So I talked to friends and other like-minded peeps. I Googled “finding your purpose” and found some pretty interesting 12-step processes that are too inappropriate to be repeated. I read blogs, and scoured the self-help section in bookstores. I reevaluated my goals, then om’d my little heart out, drank green smoothies and wore mala beads everyday. I attempted head-up-my-own-asana and Patanjali’s breath retention 101.

“Damn it! I wailed. My purpose is no purpose. I give up!”

So again I sat in meditation. This time a voice came to me and said ‘Your purpose is to live your life, the life I gave you.’

WTF, is that it? Really, my entire reason for existence is just to live?

Photo: Beverly & Pack

Apparently so my friends, the rest is for the ego.

First we have to get out of autopilot, out of our heads and out of the constant negative self-talk.

To really live we must first enjoy and take care off ourselves—celebrate, love, laugh and most importantly, have fun.

All that takes consistency, effort and a light-heartedness.

Upon further reflection I realized two things:

1. Learn to have fun.

This means recognizing and acknowledging that you’re the creator of all the possibilities and potentials in your life—all that’s “good”, “bad” and “really sh**.”

Learning involves a certain amount of humility and a realization that you’re in charge of your own experience; you’re the source of fun, happiness and joy in your life.

2. Redefine what you brings you joy.

Life is fluid, things change and we evolve. What I wanted five years ago is very different to want I want now. Part of waking up is being able to stay with the unfolding and discern between the self-gratifying wants to those that serve me.

Which desires are moving me in a direction that’s in line with who I am and where I want to go next?

Living life doesn’t give me a leave-pass to be completely self-indulgent. (I wish it did!) It’s not about knowing the right people, going to the coolest bars or eating at the newest restaurants. It’s the ability to see life as good, acknowledging my own value and seeing myself as precious no matter what.

Through learning, redefining and living I’m taking ownership and positively creating my future.

Its makes sense that I’ll choose one that’s fun. Try it—laugh, celebrate, love and see everyday life as good and as beautiful.

Maybe that’s what this thing is all about. I really don’t know. I will however be meditating on this further.


Tanya Maria Mah is a designer, the occasional seeker of all things true, a yogi, she can be creative, is frequently inappropriate, aspires for inspiration, a hippie (not a hipster), a teeny tiny disco dancer, a sometimes cook, and eternally optimistic.

When asked for a bio she facebook polled her friends for one word that describes her and they came up with the following: love hearts, crazy (this was mentioned a few times…), sunshine, bubbly, meatball, mcskank (personal joke), excitable, spunky monkey, delicious, pixie and charismatically crazy (a new spin on an old favourite!)

To get in contact, please email [email protected]


Editor: Elysha Anderson

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