>Living v. being alive

>On the eve of my 26th birthday (okay, this is completely inaccurate, it's not until mid-May), I struggle once again (as I do every birthday eve) wondering if my life is really everything it ought to be. I have a great job, amazing friends, supportive family, active dating life, great legs, large amounts of expensive clothing, and three trashy romance novels on my nightstand. What more could a gal ask for?

Unfortunately, I have this expectation that being in my mid-twenties is supposed to look a certain way (namely like Sex and the City without babies or breast cancer). On a day-to-day basis I have an incredibly full life, but when I take steps back it appears so mundane. I'm really busy, but not with things that would appear glamorous or adventurous. Lately I've become afraid of staying in the same place too long and missing out on really living. My way to combat this is to plan another trip, or figure out a strange new way to spend my Friday night. Even after these events I still feel a sense of lack. I'm starting to realize my dissatisfaction arises from a lack of purpose.

I know who I want to be (love, joy, and vitality), but I'm not sure what steps to take to be that. A lot of times I worry I don't carry my weight in the world and that's what I'm afraid to face. For the most part my life is just about me. My plans every day, getting my workout in, eating the right foods, returning phone calls, getting through my to-do list, etc. Sure I make an effort to reach out to others and give my time and resources (homeless Bob downtown loves it on the days I feel guilty, I buy him a huge lunch) to charities in need, but I don't fully invest myself. I'm not sure how to let the whole world know I care and I don't know what to do in my daily life to make it obvious. What does giving back look like? I keep thinking I have to spend two years in the Peace Corps or adopt children from around the world. I want answers on what I can do this instant and in my daily life that will make a profound impact for everyone.

On the other hand, maybe what my life is really missing is another trashy romance novel and starting my own orphage...

Today I'm grateful for Manitou Springs, running in Ute Valley Park, and my heated blanket.