Misc

Existential Angst

A couple months ago I turned 56, and all the thoughts in my head that had building for a few years completely exploded in my head, diving me into some deep existential angst. Things that I’d never worried about were now front and center, and I’m not liking this at all.

So many whys.

From the vast, such as why are we here? What is the point of our existence? Why do we push and struggle so hard when the vast majority of us won’t leave any mark at all? Why do we do anything if it doesn’t mean anything? And if it doesn’t mean anything, does that mean that it should mean something to us to give this life meaning??

To things such as, why have we gone from mostly supportive blogging communities to instant social media sites that are making so many of us miserable and stressed? Why is fast so important? Why isn’t deeper communication meaningful anymore? Why is everyone staring at their phones all the time, even when walking down the street? Why is being constantly connected online so important now?

To the menial things that now drive me nuts daily. WHY are there so many trinkets in my house that I keep even though I barely look at them?? Why is there so much clutter?? Why do I save things on my computer when I am so much an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ person?

It all comes down to one question:

What is the point of it all???

Rilke famously wrote, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

I’m trying, but it feels like the wheel is spinning faster and faster, and the questions get bigger and deeper…as well as more inane at times. And i don’t feel any closer to the answers, do you?

Pip

2 thoughts on “Existential Angst”

  1. I’ve found that the older I get, the more I realize how little all the crap really matters. Things come, things go, political situations included. I’ve lived through times of war, threats of nuclear annihilation, my country turning into idiots (still in the midst of that one, actually.) I’ve figured out for myself at least that the purpose of life is to live. To get as much enjoyment out of every moment that you can. Look at the sky, notice the clouds, the color in the trees as the sap rises, the new leaves, feel the breeze, enjoy the comfortable sofa, savor that cup of tea. In other words, be aware, every moment. Don’t live in the past, don’t live in the future. Now is all there is. Do as much good as you can, in however small a way that is available to you. Stick a dollar in that can on the counter, smile at people, be polite. These things matter. Let go of the things you have no control over and focus on those that you do. Make someone else’s life better by being kind, listening, helping when possible. These things help me, especially when it looks like the world is just going to hell. I believe every generation has thought that the world was going to hell, and we’re still here. Enjoy your life. It has a tendency to end at some point, and you don’t want to miss any of the good stuff along the way.

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