Tonight, sitting on a grassy bank watching live music, drinking beer and chatting with friends, life felt so.. wholesome. One of those moments that make you realise – yes, this is what it feels like to live.
Life feels bleh. Work feels bleh. Everything is bleh.
Life is all just about chance isn’t it?
An excerpt from my journalling this morning, I’ve been thinking about it all day:
Mornings can be hard. Today was one of those. I woke up in a funk, feeling that same dread of living in a reality that didn’t reconcile to what I thought/ expected/ feel I should be living in at twenty seven. My Saturday night was spent in, having wine and cheese with a close friend. But some of my flatmates went out and I wondered if I should have joined them afterwards, and if by not doing that I wasn’t living my best life.
I know that these expectations or “shoulds” are arbitrary and no indication of what a “good life” looks like. I know that I very much could have joined them afterwards but I didn’t want to. I know all of this, but I still feel like I’m missing something.
It’s that fear that I’m going to get to my 40s and look back and feel like I’ve wasted my 20s. Just like me now, looking back and feeling like I’ve wasted my late teens and early twenties.
But everything that I’m doing now is everything I want and if it isn’t then I should change that. I just need to be honest about what it is that I truly want and separate that from what I feel is expected of a twenty seven year-old.
The hard part is reconciling the versions of myself – the past me to the present me to the future me. The past me doesn’t feel like the present me and I’m scared that the future me will be different again, and result in more disjointed feelings in identity and life.
Perhaps the only way that that can be avoided is if we were static, unchanging beings. But that’s not reality. People are always changing. I’m changing. I’m not who I was when I was younger, and I’m glad for that.
So maybe the reconciliation of the versions of me doesn’t come from being the same, but in making peace with the fact that I was a different person back then, so of course I will feel estranged from that girl, but to also be kinder to myself. I was learning then, as I am now. I was on a journey to where I am today and all those decisions that I regret now has in some way lead me to here.
The same goes for the future. It may be that I’ll look back and wish I had done more, but all the future mes need to respect the past mes and the decisions she made, that that was what she wanted at the time.
I’m dynamic, always changing, shifting. I will ever be static so there are bound to be differences in the way I interpret situations, experiences, in the ways I make decisions. And that’s okay.
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between
We talk about this a lot in English Lit, to look at past texts with kindness because we know things now, that they didn’t back then. It’s not fair to judge their actions in the past using our current knowledge. And maybe that applies with me too.
Past me doesn’t know what the present me knows now, so how would she have made decisions that align with what I now know? I need to be kinder to her. She was just doing her best, just as I am now.
I’ve started listening to a podcast – The Partially Examined Life – which is basically a bunch of dudes discussing a paper written by a philosopher. The episode I listened to today was on “An Absurd Reasoning” by Albert Camus.
They were talking about life and meaning and how meaning in life was to be meaningful to someone. Does that make sense? Basically, there is meaning in life if you mean something to someone. Then one of the hosts made a comment about how that was the function that deities, or religion fulfilled. That is, religion gives meaning to people because they feel that the deity finds meaning in them.
Is that all religion is? A tool to hold human beings back from nihilism?
Oh man, I don’t know. I don’t know how to deconstruct my faith constructively. I don’t want to just pull it apart and leave it at that. I want to seek truth but I don’t know how to do that honestly and objectively. But maybe it’s not possible to do it objectively? Damn it, I keep coming back to this issue with free will. I know that I’m born into a life where I’ve inherited a lot of the decisions that other people have made for me (we all are), so my thinking and values and beliefs are already skewed from the get-go. All I can do is my best with what I know.
…But what do I know?!
Last Christmas one of my best friends gave me a little fern plant. Recently I re-potted it and it has since slowly died… I’m in denial, still watering the ferns that are now dry and brown, hoping that there’s a little bit of life that will press on, defy all expectations and push a little green leaf out of the soil.
Yeah, not holding my breath on that one.
I’m home, alone, on a Saturday night at 10:11pm. I’ve just had a shower and washed my hair after getting home after dinner with a close friend. Before that I was sitting my exam and before that I was studying for the exam.
A few weeks ago I would have felt really sad that I was home so early in the evening on a Saturday, and the fact that all my flatmates are still out would have made me feel really shit, like I’m not doing enough with my life.
But today, tonight, right now, I feel good. I don’t feel like I’m lacking, I feel like I had a good day, had a nice catch up with a friend and now am about to settle into some good Netflix. Life feels good.