“And life is pointless, but what’s so wrong with that?” –Third Eye Blind
Sometimes it’s easier to stay in your lane. You go through your days accomplishing tasks and focusing on what’s right in front of you, rather than letting your mind wander and exploring the deeper, existential questions you may have. It’s easier to do things like work out, take out the trash, and cook because they take mental energy, but not too much. They keep you occupied enough that your mind doesn’t drift too far off course. I fully admit that I’m motivated to do certain activities as a means of getting outside of my head. When I spend too much time in there, my thoughts shift towards negativity, and I can work myself into a panic in record time.
I try to keep my head down and just focus on daily happenings, but there was a time in my life when I wasn’t so busy, and I was free to contemplate the bigger questions of life. Time was in abundance, and while I found the search for meaning compelling, one wrong turn or thought would bring me to a dark place, one that wasn’t easy to get out of. In these moments I had some of my most profound and frightening anxiety attacks, and I’d sit there on the couch with my heart racing, no one else around, trying to calm down. I knew I wasn’t going to die, but when the anxiety is that strong, you lose touch with rational thought and logic. These concepts fade out of focus into the periphery of your vision.
At some point or other, we begin to ask questions about life, about what we’re all doing here, about what it is that we’re supposed to accomplish during our time on this planet. You think that if you work hard, do and say all the right things, that you’ll be okay, and while that may be true, you could just as easily step off the curb and get hit by a bus tomorrow. I don’t mean to be morbid, but each day is a gift, and we never know when our time is at an end. It can make life truly seem pointless that it can end so quickly, and it can make you wonder why you get out of bed. We live and die, and we don’t have much of a say in when either happens. The most we can do is try and make the best of the limited time that we have.
Life is pointless, or is it? The answer depends on the person answering the question, and maybe that’s the point. Maybe the beauty of that question is that you’re allowed to craft your own answer based on your reality, your experiences, and your beliefs. When I was an atheist, I didn’t believe that a God existed, but my father had taught me well, and that was enough for me to go forward and not feel completely lost. Okay, I still felt pretty lost, but I knew what I valued in life. I liked, no, I loved people, even if we weren’t always on the best of terms. I knew I loved my family, and I knew that I wanted to help my community in some way. Personal relationships were going to be the way to my salvation, or at least to my happiness.
I’ll never tell anyone that his or her pursuits or beliefs are wrong. Some maintain the same belief system their entire lives, but mine have been fluid, and while Christianity rings true for me right now in this very moment, I know that I’ve changed before. I’m not even going to try and pretend that I’m a finished product, that I’ve learned all I’m going to learn, and this is just who I am now. I always want to keep learning, and part of the beauty of life is you get to choose. You get to learn about as many topics or schools of thought as you want to, and whatever makes the most sense is what you believe, that is, if you’re even looking to believe in anything at all. Some people don’t bother with any sort of spirituality or religion, and while I don’t agree with that, I do understand it.
I’ve changed a lot in life, as we all have. Aside from Atheism and Christianity, I’ve dabbled in Buddhism, and I know that I’m still working towards finding a belief system that’s consistent with what I know to be true. In many ways it’s a blessing that I didn’t grow up in a religious household because my mind has remained open and receptive, and I’ve experienced so many things that have changed me in profound ways. Sometimes you’re cognizant of the change, but other times the change isn’t as pronounced, and it’s only upon closer examination that you realize you’re not the same person you used to be. Experiences are important to living life, and you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try and learn from as many of them as you can.
We get to define our lives, each and every one of us. We get to figure out what it is we believe, and that keeps life interesting. If we were all working towards the same thing, maybe that would be wonderful and we’d all be more unified, but that’s not the world that currently exists. Each of us is on our own personal journey to find the deeper meaning in our lives, and while many of us will choose to follow or serve a higher power, I know that doesn’t include everyone. People will go their own way. I can’t tell you what to believe, and neither can anyone else. Whatever ideology you choose has to resonate with you, and become something that is unassailable.
Life isn’t pointless. We get to go out and live and experience it for ourselves. We get to meet people, read different books, and it’s entirely possible that anyone or anything could come along and change your entire worldview, if you let it. Changing your worldview can be a scary thing. It can breakdown the very foundations of your life and who you are or thought you were, but when you come out the other side, hopefully you’re closer to who you want to be. You get to choose the point. You get to choose what gives your life meaning, and once you figure out what that is, it’s up to you to do the work. That’s the only way you’ll stick with it. Thanks for reading.