January 13, 2021

Redirection of meaning

I took a couple of days recently to unplug and reflect on what I am doing and where I am and I had a lot of time to think while sitting in the park.

And, It’s scary to be honest for a while and acknowledge that I am pretty clueless about what the future holds. No matter what I do, how hard I try. There is nothing I can do to control what’s going to happen. I can’t control what people are going to say or how long I am going to be around.

So, sitting and thinking about it I kind of realised whatever that be, whether we like it or not this is the situation we are all in at all times. Feeling lost or confused about what’s to come or where to go.
Sometimes it’s unclear what’s the right thing to do.
If there is a right thing, I want to do the right thing but I am not sure if I always have a clear sense of what that means.

In a way I kind of wonder where do I stand? I have as long as I remember always hated the feeling of drifting through life of powerlessness. I think a sense of desperation comes out when I feel pinned down or knocked over.

It’s really hard to prevent doubts from creeping in from time to time. And sometimes I can see how these fears color my decisions and make me act in strange ways to feel less vulnerable.

I see now how I have stayed busy to distract myself from myself. But when I do stop for a moment and kinda let go, I am not sure I like what I see. I really do wonder what my ten-year-old self would think.

I don’t think I have as many answers as I imagined I would at this stage in life. Or maybe I got some answers but I have a lot more questions now. And sometimes what was working before stops working and I feel like I am starting from zero all over again. Maybe that’s what it means to be alive; to admit that you were clueless about most things most of the time or even the whole time.

I don’t really say this nor do I think people, in general, say this but I will. I do still fears what other people will say about me. I want to be loved, I want to be liked, and it’s easy to say I don’t care and It doesn’t affect me but the truth is it does affect me, I think we all care, we are social creatures, and this is a part of who we are and this is part of our biology. I don’t think any of us wants to be alone but we can feel that way sometimes.

I am just trying to remind myself that it’s okay to not be okay all the time. Our lives are complex and I don’t think even a full lifetime is enough to figure out everything about ourselves.

I think I am learning how to not even try to fix the situation or myself because there is nothing to be fixed and just accept that I’m doing my best and that I get to choose how I look at things.

For the longest period of time, I thought I had my whole life figured out. Being young and naive I was convinced that life would go according to plan.
But obviously, it never does, I moved out of my home, traveled a bit, met few people who inspired me, I spent some time reading and learning a few things.
And the more I learned about myself and the things that made me fulfilled the more lost I felt.

Like oh, I also like things other than I what I thought I’d like. So, now what?
I am not trying to say that everything I did was for nothing, the years spent by me trying to learn what I know are very valuable to me and I do appreciate it from time to time.

But I also realised what had guided those decisions throughout my life hadn’t been a pursuit of meaning or pursuit of satisfaction, but rather it was the pursuit of comfort and security.
And It took time for me to admit that to myself.

We don’t really want to admit that we have spent x amount of years doing or changing something only to end up feeling unfulfilled. But the sooner we do the sooner we can figure out what to do with that realisation and that hiding is not the answer.

I wanted to write about the meaning of life for a long time in a hope that I’ll find one for myself in doing so, but I have also realised now that maybe there is no meaning, but we can create one. And that I am grateful to however few people I know, for asking the right questions.

I also know that knowing all these things aren’t going fix everything at once but I guess having realised these things, I can do things a little differently, I can have a goal that I can work toward which might give some sense of purpose and, this time I can work towards pursuit of meaning and satisfaction.

Terrible as it was, his experience in Auschwitz reinforced what was already one of his key ideas: Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it.
— Excerpt From: Viktor E. Frankl. “Man's Search for Meaning

This was my one day attempt of trying to summarise all my thoughts, learning and experience from 2020