I was there when I was needed

posted by Jeff | Thursday, May 25, 2023, 7:12 PM | comments: 0

You ever encounter a new-to-you phrase, and then it keeps coming up over and over? Like when kids say "cringe" all of the time, only something a little less meme-y. For me that thing is, "I was there when I was needed." It generally refers to someone's involvement in something that had a particularly positive outcome. For example, I would say it if I were asked to make a cheese steak when I was a grill cook in college, and it was on a day when they were up for an award, and then they won it.

Now, to know me is to know that I absolutely can't stand "everything happens for a reason" nonsense or any other kind of fate fantasy. Everything does happen for a reason, and it's one that is generally easy to explain and completely lacks divine intervention. I also find that anyone who really believes that you can "do anything if you put your mind to it" is completely naive and blind to things like mental health and the birth lottery that heavily influences your outcomes. It's true, you'll not find any motivational posters in my office.

My take on being there when you are needed is more about the contentment that you experience because of a situation where you really felt a sense of belonging. Like, when I've thrown a really great party, and everyone enjoys themselves and I've got that afterglow. Or I helped pull off a charity event that raised a ton of money. I was there when I was needed is kind of a humble way to say that you were an important part of something great.

It's also something that I closely associate with purpose. That's a far more interesting use of the term. That feels relevant to me. When we talk about stuff in those terms, I'm troubled by how few times in my life I've felt that feeling. I certainly feel it when I volunteer for stuff, and coming out of each shoot for my documentary. I've felt it on occasion in various jobs, but it's concerning that it doesn't happen more often. It happened constantly when I was coaching volleyball. As I've said before, scope really doesn't matter that much, but feeling appreciated and impactful, that you have purpose, is easily one of the most powerful feelings you can have in life.

I want to be where I am needed, but it's not always easy to find or make the situations that enable that situation. Stick that on your motivational poster.


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