Sometimes I feel tormented by the thought that I might never find something meaningful enough to do with my life. So I find little ‘meaningful’ things to do every now and then, hoping that I’ll find something I like as well as feel like I’m busy doing things.
And then I’m tormented by the thought that it’s this petty satisfaction that keeps people from making ‘real’ meaningful change. Teju Cole, a Nigerian-American writer and photographer, writes, “The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.”
Then I’m tormented by the thought that since definitions of meaningful are not only subjective, but also pretty much man-made, the above mentioned worries about distinguishing between eye-wash-meaningful and meaningful-meaningful and then finding something ‘actually meaningful to do with my life’ are just the other cleverly disguised tracks in the infamous Rat Race.
So then I’m tormented by the thought that the previous thought might just be a way of getting away with inaction. (Many people I know think that living quietly as a part of a sustainable community is making little, isolated change. They say solutions that will actually make a difference are those that strive to make systemic change.) So no big, black mountain dog and a tiny adobe house on a forest-hill for my conscience, please.
You see why it’s a trick?
Because there’s no end to it. This whole purpose thing is built to deceive one into good behaviour and guilt. Guilty good behaviour.
It’s one big vicious cycle. Giant Hamster Ferris Wheel. Never ending dominoes. Intestinal roller coaster where the anus ends at the mouth. Sorry.
So. I’m going to wake up 30 years hence, and sob violently into my pillow about how unfairly I have treated my life, and how I still don’t know what my life is for, etc. If I can do it at 19, I’m pretty sure I can do it at 50.