“Do you see me, standing in the mirror?
I’m trading places with myself
I’m staring straight into a space that I can’t find
It’s no surprise I’ve lost my mind”
– Black English, Last Chance
It’s really hard to get anything accomplished when you’re overcome with the crippling trauma of an existential crisis. Or, you know, what I can only guess is an existential crisis, seeing as insubstantial things, things of the mind, are always harder to quantify and define. But I mean that’s got to be what this is, right? This never-ending barrage of chaotic feelings, this mess of entangled circular trains of thought all leading back to the same dreaded destination, the same unavoidable conclusion that nothing matters, all of it safely locked and concealed behind my eyes for the rest of the world to overlook so that we can all go on playing the parts we were born into, simply pretending everything’s okay. That’s got to be an existential crisis, right?
That’s assuming this thing even has a name, although I think existential crisis is about as close to defining it as I’m ever going to get. Whatever the case, it sucks. I don’t know if it’s the depression, or the shitty lifestyle, or something else entirely (although chances are high it’s a combination of everything), but life has lost its luster. Or maybe you can’t lose something you never had.
A lot of people say that life is what you make it, and I’m starting to agree with them- to a point. I think people make life out to be something it’s not, and it’s only because of that that they can swallow the pill, purse their lips into a grin, and go on living. They adorn rose colored glasses and smile and tell themselves the blood is just water.
I think that life really is just this shitty thing that’s forced upon us, and from the moment we’re unwittingly thrust into this existence people fill our arms with distraction after distraction to keep us from turning to the darkness around us. They’re meant to keep you content and happy on this safe, predetermined life, just so long as you play by the rules and obey the road signs. We’re given all these pretty things, shiny preoccupations whose only terms and conditions are that you don’t open the closet door, don’t look under the bed, and for the love of God don’t look out the window. But I’ve done just that. And once you tear down the curtain, dear Dorothy, there’s no forgetting what lies behind it.
If this post seems like a mess to you that’s because it is. My life is a mess. My thoughts are a mess. I’m just trying to write it all down, as chaotic and potentially nonsensical as it may be. This is where I am right now. This is what I’m wrestling with. If you had to boil it all down, all the conflict and the confusion and the exhaustion, I guess it would all come down to emptiness. I think it all stems from (or at the very least centers around) this feeling of emptiness inside of me, one that no amount of distractions can fill. And believe me, I’ve tried.
I spend all my time nowadays efficiently altering between watching television shows and movies, listening to my music, and sleeping. Those three things are the only escapes that actually provide me with temporary release from the thoughts in my head. I distract myself into forgetting my problems, at least for a time. They always come back, sooner or later, but at least I have my moments.
I’ve stopped looking people in the eyes when I pass them, for a variety of reasons all coming down to one: what I see in those eyes is not real. What is reflected in those eyes is my own meaningless existence, the inconsequentiality of everything around me. When I look at other people I’m only reminded of how we all play this game, how we all wear these masks and pretend everything is okay. We do it to the point where most of us actually believe it. God, how I wish I could believe it again. I think I would give just about anything to be able to put that curtain up once more, and forget I ever saw anything.
If ignorance is bliss, then enlightenment is suffering. These people are just people. They’re not characters in my story, or even in theirs. There is no story. It’s just this rock floating through space, and we’d all like to think there’s a purpose behind it, some big secret waiting for us at the end of it all, but there’s nothing. And we try to forget that, try to ignore it, by convincing ourselves of this grand façade, this orchestra of magnificent complexity, something bigger than us, but there’s nothing. There’s nothing.
It’s just a void.