On the eve of starting a new job, I’m once again placed at the psychological crossroads of contemplating my existence and ‘what it all means…’ I know, asking why we exist has become a bit cliché these days, and those who really dive deep into the depths of their own consciousness often become lost in the caverns of infinite thought to the extent that they wake up as forty year olds who haven’t really done anything substantial with the life they wasted away contemplating. I, for one, have decided to make a sound and substantial commitment to becoming anything but a wasted mind among wasted space. The one mantra that i’ve held close to my heart over the past few years is that life is violently short. The time and space that we spend our quiet and sometimes fruitless existence is painfully unyielding. Sure we remember certain moments of our lives and ascribe to them a posthumous reality that was perhaps never really there to begin with. Our past is a dissection of all that we have been, just as the future rests as an open canvas, for us to sculpt and color into anything we so desire.
So why is then that we’re constantly caught in the present. In a space in time that offers little shelter from the reality of existence. The present is painful, it can tear us apart limb from limb and moments later build us up into something greater than we’ve ever been before. The present defines our existence as it dissolves it’s own. It’s here, in the present moment, that we think about what we’ve done, and moreover plan and scheme our next steps. I personally have felt more lost then found lately. Sure, the surface aesthetic is all in order, but just beneath lies an undefined self-awareness of fear and anxiety. We’re always trying to convince ourselves of what we’re supposed to be, seeking congruency with the societal standards of our present moment. However, the individuals of our humanity that have striven towards something greater than their own surface aesthetic and societal standard are in turn the ones that define what our existence as human beings is. When we look back at everything we’ve done as a species, it’s not Bob Smith the banker or David Wilson the police offer that we read about in our history books, it’s the Nelson Mandela’s and the Martin Luther King’s of our world that define us.
Indeed, it’s a revolution of the soul that we are all seeking. It’s not that we want to be something different or better than what we are that drives us, it’s the desire and passion to discover the person we truly are that creates contrast and evolution in a society. I’m not feeling lost because I don’t have a ‘dream job’ or the perfect relationship or a Harvard education, I’m feeling lost because I’m not quite sure who I am….and the thought that the truth of my own existence is resting just centimeters beneath the person I know all too well is driving me crazy. It’s a sentiment we’ve all felt, but it’s there for a reason. It’s there to let our souls thrive and prosper in a constant churning state of discovery.
I say to you all, take more road-trips, travel to the far ends of the earth, start conversations with strangers, taste foods you’ve never heard of, read Tolstoy, read Whitman, read Emerson and London, and never stop engaging your senses in the fiery blessing that is your precious and brief existence and everything it offers each and every day.