Finding an Answer | Thoughts | Moose
So I have spent the last few months, although its more been like a year, really struggling to find what my place is in life, what my role is.
I even wrote a long piece about being creative, and finding a place – more specifically your own role in life rather than being the person that other people want you to be. I still will probably post that at some point, but my mind has really come to this point here.
Just over one year ago, I broke up with a long term girlfriend. For those two years I devoted myself completely to her, and ultimately that turned me into a very closed individual, scared of meeting new people, scared of pushing my own boundaries, and was the basis for the reason why we broke up. I offered nothing new to her, but more significantly, nothing new to myself. It affected my creativity and my growth as a person, and, as a man who was 22 at the time, it was a very destructive way to live life.
The past year or so has been a struggle to find out who I am inside when I lost the only thing that meant anything to me. I have had to reinvent Charles. However, I would always find myself procrastinating, not following through with my dreams (because I like to jump at ideas that I have, and following that for a short amount of time before jumping straight to the next tangent). I found that I would plan inefficiently, and a big reason for this is that I did not really understand what I wanted from life.
(Before I go on here is a short tangent for you to read…) It’s difficult to know what you want from life in a society today that expects you to be something, expects you to fill a role. We are stuck in a period of time where you can ‘be’ anything you want to, but you are not anything until you are successful. On top of that, there are countless different things that you can be, and it’s hard to focus on just one – no wonder the cases of ADHD are growing.
I truly took and step back and reflected:
- Where am I now?
- What do I want to be?
- Where do I want to be in 10 years?
- How do I want to live my life?
These are all questions that I asked myself (the above that I mentioned is not an extensive list) that I thought would really help me define my path in the future. And it did, though not in the way I thought it would.
Where am I now? This question was a difficult thing to ask in the sense that you cannot know all of your poor habits, but more than that, it is difficult to reflect on yourself and recognise all that bad aspects of who you are. I am very closed off, and find it very difficult to open myself up to people. I have low confidence that makes me question everything I do. I slouch. I am not happy, borderline depressed at times. I do not challenge myself enough, and often back down when it gets tough.
What do I want to be? Where do I want to be in 10 years? These were the toughest questions, because to look forward that far in your life needs to take into account a number of different factors. You have to ask yourself what you enjoy, and you also need to look at other people as role models for your behaviour, which ultimately means that you will copy some of their traits. And when I really thought about it, I couldn’t come up with an answer; well apart from the usual shit like ‘more assertive’, ‘fit’, ‘funny’, etc. Although I did want to change the world and be a voice. With all the books I have read (‘The Outsider’ by Albert Camus, ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac, ‘The Topic of Cancer’ by Henry Miller) and the philosophies that I have been exposed to, I have come to the conclusion that I should just live life and not worry about the future. Tomorrow might now come, and we are only guaranteed today, this moment that we are sharing (fully aware that I am glossing over this, but it’s unimportant how I reached that viewpoint). So I asked myself the next question…
How do I want to live my life? I thought about the above philosophy. I thought about what life means to me. I thought about what fun is. And after a lot of time thinking (though always coming up with a similar answer), I came to this conclusion:
I want to live an adventure.
I want to go and a try a ton of different and new things. I started writing out a bucket list of all the things that I want to do, from driving across America (maybe an idea given to me by the aforementioned ‘On the Road’), seeing the sights of Vietnam, live in a hostel, learning to salsa.
And then I had a thought: “that’s not an adventure”. That is planned. Sure, there are things that I want to try, things I want to do, but why am I thinking so much about it. Why not live just go live it? Why not just book tickets to America and go travel (obviously I have to save the money up first). Life does not have a plan for you, for me, for anyone. We will be born, we will live, and we will die – and that is the only thing that we can be sure of in life. Who knows how we will die, or when that point will come. In fact, it could even be argued that life is all about preparing yourself for death, but I’m not going to go there right now…
I will read books and articles that help me learn. I will watch movies that make me think. I will do things that make me laugh. I will talk to as many people as I possibly can to learn from them.
And although none of this will be able to give me a definite answer to the meaning of life, I will have some fucking fun living it. Why am I trying to find an answer in a life that does not have one itself?
One thing is for sure, I do not want to be one of those people that falls into a role in life, in work, and doesn’t enjoy it. I do not want to be that man that works every day in their lives following the same old painful routine, waiting for the weekend to come, and for the day to end.
I’m going to live an adventure.
And I’m going to share it with you – all the troubles I encounter, the old routines that I fall back on, and hopefully, all the fun that I have on the way.
Here’s a lovely thing I read, that I think we should all consider: Eric Idle’s Eulogy about George Harrison.