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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

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development

Existential Crisis

So let me tell you about my existential crisis.

I’ve been tossing and turning the “Why am I here, what is the actual point of all this” question in my head for longer than I could remember. I’ve explored theories, entertained fantasies, looked to reason, theology, spiritual texts,  philosophy, science, but nothing really satisfied my query.

Existential bullshit aside, I’m also carrying around the weight of the reality I am currently in.

I am at a point where I am trying to figure out what truly matters to me.
Which is such an annoying task because I’m always changing! If I could only stick to one goddam idea and emotion, that’d be grand. But I’m constantly being pulled in different directions by my moods, desires, feelings, thoughts, and ideas.

One day I wake up feeling confident about a particular decision, set on doing particular things, while the next day I don’t want that same thing at all. My mood is completely different. My desires completely shift. 180.  Example: I am considering moving to Texas or Florida, even though I JUST moved to California (but more on that some other time).

I am currently giving myself a reality check.
Taking inventory.
Like: You’re 30 years old, you’re making this amount of money, you’re working this type of job, you’re waking up this time in the day, you’re eating these types of food, you’re talking to these types of people, you’re spending these many dollars, you’re doing x y z, a b c…. and if you keep going in this direction you’re likely going to be experiencing these particular results  in your future (whatever they may be).

I wish some genius could take stock of everything I’ve done and am doing, enter it into some kind of excel formula and come up with my future trajectory.

Which is what I’m trying to do now… with my average intelligence… and without an excel formula.

Other factors of reality that are hitting me in the face.
I’m aging.
It sucks.
My body isn’t as energized as it used to be.
I can tell my skin is different. My face is more mature. My hair texture is different.

I know on a fundamental level the best thing I can do is to accept myself as I age. The best thing I can do is be kind to myself. To be able to gracefully let go of what was and embrace what is. I know the best thing I can do is to make peace with the new identity I am growing into while having the maturity to release the attachment to the old image of me.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

I know. I get it. Anything outside of unconditional self-regard, self-love, self-acceptance is a recipe for suffering…

BUT – I’m still gonna complain about it. I’m still going to acknowledge how shitty it is. I’m still going to say I would rather not lose my health, beauty, strength, energy, memory, etc. A girl’s gotta vent, ya know?

Anyway…I don’t intend for this post to be about me complaining. You can hear me complain some other time…

My intention is more to share on my struggle towards understanding the real meaning and purpose of life. But given that I don’t have an actual answer yet, and maybe never will, I am trying to create purpose through living a life that feels meaningful to me. I’m trying to figure out right now, in this pivotal point in my life, what is actually going to fulfill me so that I wake up excited to be alive, rather than dreading what I do in the body that I do it in.

There are a lot of details that go into creating a meaningful, fulfilling life – and I am currently trying to figure out what those details exactly look like for me, while also accounting for the fact that I constantly change my mind/feelings/moods.

So in other words, how can I create a life that is fulfilling, meaningful and flexible.

Something like that….

Turns out I didn’t really talk too much about the existential crisis in itself… which often trumps all the day to day “What am I going to do with my life” type questions and goes deeper to ask “What even is life, and why was it given to me and what am I really supposed to be doing with it, if there is even such a thing as ‘supposed’ to, and if there’s not, how do I know that to be true — and who the hell am I anyway, and why does it matter or not matter?”

….

Sometimes I wish I could just be a normal person who didn’t even care or who didn’t even wonder.

 

 

A Few Words on Conditioning

And so you’re born. Welcome.

You are given a name.
You are placed in the care of people.
These people also have names. They have beliefs, ideas, language, culture, tradition, a level of education, possessions, habits, behaviors and their interpretation of the world.
They teach you the world as it is known to them.
They will teach you how to use your mouth to refer to objects.

Say, “Mama.” 
-Mama
Say, “Dada.”
-Dada.
Say, “Cup”
-Cup.

Next thing you know you can use your biologically developed vocal chords to produce sounds to represent externally perceived objects.
As you age your concepts become more complex.
“My mama is in the market.”
“My dada is reading the newspaper.”
“The cup is on the table.”

You are taught the ideas of the people raising you.
“No! It’s not nice to use your hands to eat. Use the spoon.”
“You have to pray before eating your food, God is watching you.”

You begin to be shaped by the information given to you by those who raised you.

Then you go out into the world. You perceive new people. New places.
These new people have different ideas from those who have raised you.
“What do you mean you have to pray before you eat? There is no such thing as God!”
“Yes there is. My moma and dada told me there is so. I believe them. They wouldn’t lie to me.”

Now you have conflicting ideas.
You are exposed to more modes of thinking. You are exposed to new experiences which you never thought possible.

Everything you engage with at any time is molding you. Changing you. Making you.

Then you realize that you are more than your experiences.
“My mama told me that I am Tom. But is that really who I am?”

You might have a name that was given to you. But that’s just a sound. A sound in which we use to communicate among ourselves in order to reference points in space.
You are not your name.
You are not your beliefs.
You are not the voices in your head.
You are not a label.

You are life.
You are breath.
You are consciousness.

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