The texas sunshine was pouring in behind him through his window, and I could see the steady sway of trees gingerly playing with the fall breeze just outside. He sat before me as if no time had passed when he was my undergraduate advisor for Global Studies at St.Edward’s many years ago. It smelled of coffee and aged pages, and the walls of his office were lined with an army of books, atlases and manuals on mapping and cartography collected from all over the world, stood as sentinels of knowledge keeping guard.
I was there to seek guidance as I had so many times during my undergraduate studies, although this meeting was not about which class I should take next semester, I was in dire need of his wisdom. Upon his academic throne he sat, and I his pupil, across the sea of his desk, which was cluttered and awash with rolling waves of reports and files. As we completed the ritual of small talk, I finally brought up the reason as to why I arranged this meeting. “I am lost,” I told him desperately, “lost in a dark room feeling around blindly hoping to grasp something solid and finite to answer the age old question, ‘what is my purpose?'” He smiled his kind smile I know so well and told me, “hey I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!” While comforting, it was not the answer I expected. Wouldn’t a professor who has lived lifetimes have a good idea of what they wanted? Wouldn’t they have gotten all the answers and pieces to the puzzle by now? He shook his head and chuckled at my inquisitive look explaining that no one really has an idea of what they want to be or what their true purpose is.
Moving forward, we waded through the muddied and polluted waters of my anxieties and fears. This bog of fret was a dangerous place where I frequently stewed and tried desperately not to drown in. My professor threw me a lifeline and dragged me from the cesspools of my troubles to the shores of relief, and from there, we spoke of my strengths and passions. Maybe I still don’t have the answers, but meeting with my former councilor and teacher provided me with some solace and direction, and the pools of my mind began to clear.
I slowly realized during our talk that I will not see the big picture all at once. Life is giving me one puzzle piece at a time along my way, and as I collect more of them, I piece this grand mural together, a glimpse of love here, a spot of experience there. Fairly soon I hope to collect more until the puzzle is completed and I finally find the answer.