With any emotional upheaval that makes you question your very existence, when expressed to other folks, they shrug it off. It’s not their problem and they don’t want to be forced to come to terms with their own mortality and meaning. They are occupied with other things — family, money, religion, friends. Or if they do think about it, and it doesn’t fit within their worldview, they question your sanity and emotional well being. The third reaction is acknowledgement. Yes, life may be meaningless. But, we trudge along living life because non-existence is an unknown quantity. Living, life, is known. It’s familiar. Which is why so many people who are questioning their purpose don’t take their own life. They will continually go about their business and try to find purpose in life.
Which is why I haven’t talked about my existential crisis with folks. They think I’m crazy, depressed, have too much time on my hands, etc…
I read an interesting article on the subject of life and meaning that really summed up my thoughts:
Existential depression is a depression that arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence. Yalom (1980) describes four such issues (or “ultimate concerns”)–death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. Death is an inevitable occurrence. Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure. That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure which we ourselves create. Isolation recognizes that no matter how close we become to another person, a gap always remains, and we are nonetheless alone. Meaninglessness stems from the first three. If we must die, if we construct our own world, and if each of us is ultimately alone, then what meaning does life have?
So, I write.
In words and fleshing out ideas seems to help. It gets it out of my head so I don’t obsess. That is the point of all this.
And yes, I may hit hyperbole and be dramatic. But it gets it out of my head so that I can focus on other things in life and not the end game.