I’m on another existential crisis. It came strutting in as if it owns this place.
Perhaps it does?
Hello old friend, have a seat. Do you want some tea?
Of course you do.
“I’m just so tired of always having to choose,” I whisper to myself as I turn on the kettle. My voice cracks and tears fall. “I’m so tired of always having to decide but never knowing were it will lead me. And yet I feel like I never change anything at all. I never take a gamble.”
Black, right? No sugar.
I ask myself: do I need to be more grateful? Do I need to appreciate what I have more?
Yesterday I told a friend: “Why can’t life be like a flower?” Just to wake up in the morning, open the fuck up, and go back to sleep when the sun sets?
But then… even if things would be that simple, I’d still be sitting here wondering if I’m shaking it up enough. I would ask myself “Is life really only about blooming during daylight hours? There’s got to be more to it.”
This is the constant battle inside my mind. The atomic question:
Am I not living enough because I dare too little and ask too little of this world?
Or am I not living enough because I’m always looking and hoping for more? Expecting greater things of myself. Regretting not going after whatever lies beyond the horizon?
Am I telling myself “life is fine just as it flows right now,” because my scared brain tries to keep me from being bold and adventurous? Have I learned to keep myself small? Do I mindlessly lie myself into good old known safety?
Or is it my very questioning life’s purpose that makes me unhappy? Is the key to happiness found in just being that flower. In just blooming? In not wanting any more from life than just living. Does “living” mean simply being? Loving. Caring. As you are, where you are? Does it not necessarily mean quitting your job and travelling the world? Does it not mean breaking your own barriers? Does it simply mean opening your eyes in the morning and breath?
Does the truth lie in the middle?
Where is that middle?
Be careful, it’s still warm.
This great battle of the mind, I feel like it can not be won.
Whenever I think I escaped it, whenever a sense of happiness and quiet reaches my heart, soon comes the fear that I’m letting life pass me by. That I’m not using up all my privileges. I am granted so many blessings: am I to use them to do the extra-ordinary or am I to just bow and smile?
Whenever I feel bold and ready to make a change, in comes a great gratitude for the things I have in my current life and a fear of leaving it behind. A shame for not appreciating enough. Like I have won the lottery and yet gamble all the money in a pursuit to become even richer. Is that bravery or madness? An insult or a master-plan?
I’ve often thought of it as a winter coat. A warm, super efficient wind-stopper. Even when it’s freezing outside and snow is piled meters high, it keeps you warm. But somehow, the coat doesn’t quite fit. It’s new, it’s fancy, but it doesn’t feel right. When you wear it, you wiggle your shoulders. Sometimes you wonder about other coats, they seem so attractive. Maybe not as warm, maybe not as durable, but perhaps they’d fit you better? They look like they would.
Now should you shed that warm winter coat, knowing there are so many people wearing no more than a t-shirt, freezing? Knowing that you will probably never get a coat this good again? Knowing winter might be growing stronger.
Maybe there is no such thing as the perfect coat? Maybe all coats are just a little too tight or a little too big? Maybe we have to grow into them? Or maybe it’s not about the perfect fit at all, but about the warmth and softness. Yet maybe it’s better to be a little colder and try on a different brand. What would such coat cost? Maybe there will be eternal summer. Maybe winter will never come to an end.
I’m so tired of always having to choose. I’m so tired of actually never choosing. I’m tired of questioning this very existence as if it’s not enough already. I’m so tired of just living. Somehow, somewhere along the way I was taught that life is more than just living. That there are battles to be won and happiness to be gained and that this is an active quest where we risk our lives and fight off demons. And while some days I feel ready to go get me such live, it also seems that part of my heart doesn’t believe it. This heart has seen how beautiful just living can be. And yet that same heart wants to somehow conquer the world.
I have always been a barrel of opposites. I’ve always been at war with myself. Though now it seems that I’m at war with my very existence – and my soul has no intention to compromise.
Would you like another cup of tea?
I might have got some biscuits. Let me check the cupboard.
Some years ago in the Korean hills I met a monk in his monastery. He told me he used to journey often and far when he was young and, a little pitiful, I asked him: “Don’t you miss the freedom of travel?”
He answered me: “I have looked all over the world for happiness until I realised it isn’t out there. Then I came here, and I have found it.”
I didn’t like his answer at all. I like to tell myself that travel will teach me. Broaden the mind, soften the heart, ripen the soul, free the spirit. There are no moments in life where I’m as happy as when I’m on the road, moving, floating between destinations. I believed that travel equals happiness. And yet I have never forgotten the monk.
Now, not a day goes by when I don’t remember his words.
I have given the existential crisis a blanket. I think it will sleep over tonight.