Monday, July 9, 2007

An Existential Question

I have just discovered something. I am terrified. I am not sure what I am terrified of. But right this moment, I am afraid. I was browsing some websites online, and I caught a small glimpse of the kind of difference some people make in the world. It is a terrifying and scary experience. I feel completely humbled by the enormity of what some people do. I can barely stop my tears from flowing when I consider what a completely selfish and futile life I am leading right now. I look back at all I did today. This morning, I was struck by a sudden urge to go to Ledges State Park, and because I still had the rental car until noon, I did that. Then I came home, found it cold, and called my apartment manager to turn the air down. I took a nap, returned the car, went to school, goofed around a little, went back home, took another nap, went to my gym class, came back to school, and browsed the internet again. Not one single thing have I done today that has not been about me. Not a single thing. I don’t want to be famous. I don’t want to do anything spectacular. I just want to do something small, but selfless.

Nearly a year ago, I was talking with someone on the phone and trying to list all the places I wanted to travel to, and all the things I want to experience. It was a never ending list. About halfway through a sentence, I had to stop because I realized that I was going to have a panic attack. I had just become aware that I wanted to experience so much, but that I had so little time in my life, and such limited means. I knew I would grow to be old, and not have done even a fraction of the things that I wanted to do. I started sobbing uncontrollably. I think I must have cried for nearly an hour. And all the while, only one single thought reverberated in my mind: “What is the point of it all?” Is it really enough to do just as much as one can even if one knows that one can never do all one wants to do? A few days later I talked about this with a friend. She told me that all she aspired for in this world was to live comfortably and enjoy her family. I wished then that I could be satisfied with that. I wished I could not want everything that I want. I wished to not be a human being. I wished I was just a mute animal who went about its life only trying to gather food and procreate. But I can’t do that. I can’t stop feeling, and wanting, and desiring all the things that I do.

That was nearly a year ago, but I feel exactly that way today. I cried and was frustrated and found no answers. I go from day to day seeking nothing more than sustenance and self-gratification. The need to make a difference, or even live a life that is not entirely about me, doesn’t occur to me. It makes me feel small, insignificant and closed. I wonder when I will find out what it is that I want and how I can get there. It is the uncertainty and vagueness of not knowing that rends my soul.

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