The existential pit

Okay, I’ll admit it. I just liked the sound of the combination of the words that make up the title of this post and that is why I’ve named it so. There you go, Waywardness (yeah, with a ‘W’, you grammar pedant) exemplified perfectly. So now what? I have a post title, I am literate, I have an internet connection, and I am over-smart and arrogant – voila, a perfect combination of the ingredients required for churning out another one of those blog posts no one gives a damn about. No, not even me; I kind of get surprised on receiving a notification from my WordPress app about getting a new view (or views, perhaps) on any of my posts so far.

Currently, I am going through a phase in life (ahh, the generic teenager issues) often referred to as an existential crisis – yeah, I am just twenty years old, and I acknowledge that. You may say (in case you’re older than I am) that I am blowing things out of proportion here, or that I am not mature enough to comment on crises in life, or something similar that may just belittle my woes – and I fully respect that. You may discontinue at this point. To the others, who believe in the concept of free speech and are open-minded enough to listen to what a twentysomething has to say about what he keeps on thinking about endlessly, I would like to say that you’re continuing because you’ve been through or probably are going through a similar phase in life – after all, we’re humans, and most of us think on scarily similar lines. Let me just give a disclaimer – this post isn’t going to provide you solutions to tackle this ‘crisis,’ because, as you must have known by now, I am direly in need of one myself. It’s just that I wish to express it at some tip of the world wide web, so that later in life when I’m (hopefully) in a much more comfortable position to comment on existentialism, I’ll look back at this post and just give a smile. Again, it all relies on my living long enough, and actually reaching a ‘comfortable’ phase later on. Fingers crossed.

What bothers me most is my utter lack of ambition in life. People generally have goals, targets, perhaps direction too, in their lives. Well, not everyone, though. I wouldn’t be wrong, objectively, if I stated that there are several thousands of teenagers like me in the world who have no clue what they want from life. Heck, I daresay that very few actually have the privilege of growing up comfortably without witnessing violence or poverty around that they get enough time to think about ‘what they want from life.’ But the catch here is that one cannot simply say that because someone is poorer than them their life is worse – it may well be the other way around. When you’re born poor or live in war-stricken areas, just getting through to the next day is an uphill task – there’s always that fear of what might happen at any point. Considering this perspective, all my issues related to ‘life’ and such insecurities definitely appear minuscule – I have time to think about such stuff without having to worry whether I’ll be alive within the next couple of hours or not – I have heard this repeatedly from people, read this in books, and thought about it over and over again – but somehow this just doesn’t make things better. I still am clueless in life, and just by getting to know that people are supposedly worse off, I wouldn’t feel much better. For all you know, the people we consider to be pitiful might just be the most satisfied people on the planet! They’re human too, and they do have their own identity; the more you think of pitying them, the more you make things awkward between fellow humans. We all have a good idea about ourselves – how we think, what our instincts tell us, how we react to situations – so we need not classify the ‘others’ separately.

Back to the point, though. I feel I am falling into the ‘existential pit,’ a mindset in which everything appears dull and you question everything around – no, it’s not depression, but rather a cold approach to life. I mean, books, music and art are still enjoyable, but the generic question that ‘Why is everything the way it is?’ is just messing around with my mind. There is definitely no objective answer, and attempts to understand it all begin with ‘perhaps.’ Why do people work? Why are some parts of the world at war? Why don’t people simply talk over matters and sort issues out? Why is it that hard work is considered a virtue? Don’t we all die anyway? So why do we put ourselves in discomfort throughout our lives? Just so that in the last years of our lives we can be proud of our achievements?

I guess you’ve got the hang of it – it’s just such questions that are wreaking havoc in my mental machinery. In fact, this entire post was born of a wayward idea because I wanted to try my hand at writing (typing, technically). So, figuratively, I am simply drifting in life and am feeling quite aimless right now. All my childhood ambitions seem to be mere fakes, as I have quite accepted that no one is ‘meant to be’ how they are or ‘born to do’ whatever their ‘true calling’ is – it all seems to be a decade-long delusion. So, at this point, it seems impossible to tell how I’ll even feel or think after half an hour – waywardness, mate.

Cynical? Depressing? Maybe. But that is how many of us think. Can’t help but utter these words out on some blog post.

 

Regret?

Do I feel bad I started this blog? Not yet. Will I “regret” having started this blog sometime later in the future when I’m much more mature and busy with “life?” Will this blog evoke feelings later in the future akin to what teenagers feel when they go their old “stupid” photos and texts? Might just, as our state of mind is nothing but transitory. But will I raise the question to myself, “Why did I ever do that?” I’m certain I won’t.

Why is it so, you may ask (don’t, actually). It is very simple – think of your brain making me (even you?) live in the moment at every instant of my life. It is stopping me from quantizing time into minutes and seconds so that I can treat the available continuum as being something that I’ll have indefinitely till I breathe my last. It is making me witness everything around myself, at this very moment. It is forcing me to stop, take a moment, step back and feel everything around – the air we breathe, the white noise, the train of thought (yeah, you guessed that right, if you did – I’ve been inspired by some Zen Buddhism literature I recently came across and had a glance of romanticism at).

It isn’t very difficult to conceive, actually – since human beings are at least an extinction period away from inventing, or even coming close to inventing a time machine (no, not a clock, smartypants), one can be easily assured that the time that they let pass by cannot be got back. Now didn’t I go all fancy there instead of just writing, “Time and tide wait for no man”? I didn’t. If I were to put everything coldly without attaching my literary emotions to it, wouldn’t this blog be duller than it already is? Wouldn’t my hypothetical followers be disappointed and prevent me from even imagining having followers? I just felt it was worth spending time, writing all my mental jelly that oozes out without voice or gestures. My point being? There is no point regretting and fretting over any goddamn thing that happens. Should’ve studied for an exam or prepared for that date? Should’ve. Did you? Perhaps not, else you’d be busy with that instead of coming over to this section of the internet and reading this text. But can you do anything about it? Of course, you can or you cannot. Ambiguity is something you’ll have to deal with on this blog – just like my existence. Anyway, as I was saying,

problem

Wait, is that all I wanted to say? Is it the end of this blog post? Pretty much. Why did I write so much excreta above, then? Scroll to the top of the page and read the title of the blog post. Actually, don’t scroll. Just keep reading. Before I move any further, let me not take due credit from the creator(s) of the above illustration – it’s one of the images that dear Google throws up when you search for “problem in life can you do anything about it” or something like that. C’mon, at least I’m not taking credit for it.

So, before we depart, let me come full circle to the topic of regret – just don’t. Everyone dies, and whether they believe that they’ll be reborn or become one with God or just enter another phase of the universal consciousness – they’ll die. Death cannot be escaped – even Wikipedia knows that. So whether you died filled with regrets or completely satisfied, it really wouldn’t matter much – you’ll be a corpse, at least in this perceived physical world. So why make yourself feel worse off than you already apparently are (alliteration, meta)? Just think of bygones being bygones, and work on what you can do to turn your car back in your garage (you really thought I’d mention some cliched thing like “on the highway of life” or something like that, didn’t you? Hopeless.) while it’s still having you at the helm. Just don’t regret. Do what is in your power once you’ve realized what is and what is not in your capacity. Just keep in mind – people have no clue what you fret over, and you have no clue how they think – so assumptions are bound to be made both ways, but since you know your side, you also know that you can work at least on that front and try to make things “better.”

Do not regret reading this post either, hypothetical readers. It was well worth the lesson that you must now turn off your system and get back to physical life. You definitely don’t need to hear that from a twenty-year-old, do you?