It’s an old adage that the only certain things that will happen in life are dying and paying taxes.
This post by Chris Nicholas argues that we should take our fear of death and use it to make sure we get the most out of life:
So many people spend their entire lives desperately scrambling to find their place within a world of uncertainty and change, afraid to acknowledge that one day they will die.
…When my life fell apart I realised how often I was sacrificing my own happiness to focus my attention on trivial and incidental shit. It became apparent that my pursuit of perfection and possessions was exacerbating my fear of death because I was subconsciously creating a life governed by anxiety. I had lost sight of what really mattered most. And as I looked around at my friends and family I realised that I wasn’t alone in my mistakes.
I saw couples who I knew were madly in love growing apart as they pushed themselves to buy a bigger car, or a better home, rather than allowing their love to blossom simply by acknowledging that they already had everything they could ever need within each other. I saw strangers sitting in silence at bus stops, their eyes fixated on mobile devices; desperate to feel connected to something or someone, but too afraid to share a moment of intimacy or awkwardness with the person sitting right beside them. And I saw that so many people were lost and afraid because they felt like they had no purpose. When all they needed to do to find themselves was to accept that one day they will die, and then work backwards to understand what mattered most to them in that space between birth and death.
Food for thought for anyone who, like me, is trying to find their place in the world. Read the whole post (it’s more uplifting than depressing) on the Renegade Press blog.
I am thinking of my self-doubt and anxieties about the future as a quarter-life crisis, which sounds lame* but does sum it up pretty well. How many other people feel like this? Am I being ridiculous to expect more from life than just having a job and getting by? I watched a video clip the other day that suggested my generation have been brought up to think they are special and are now being disillusioned by the reality that the world is actually not bothered if they live or die. I don’t think I’m more special or important than anyone else, but I still don’t get how they can be satisfied by just getting along in jobs that are OK-ish.
What about people I admire? Did Maxine Peake always know she was going to be an actor? Did Ellen DeGeneres have a time when she was eaten up by fear that her life would come to nothing? And thinking of these particular people, do you have to be famous or acknowledged to make an impact? What does making a difference look like?
*It is lame – the migrant crisis is the sort of thing “crisis” denotes. I’m in no way comparing my feelings to the lives of refugees or anyone suffering with the effects of an actual crisis. But within the confines of my own existence, it’s perhaps at least worth the name “a bit of a stress actually”.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Since graduating two years ago, I’ve had several jobs, one of which I loved (in web/digital), and others that have been more mixed. They have all been short-term contracts and there has never been funding available to keep me on, although colleagues have been pleased with my work.
At the moment I’m struggling with the frustration of not finding (and keeping) a fulfilling job, and anxiety about making the ‘wrong’ decisions and not getting the most from my chance at life. This blog will share some of my questions and thoughts, plus an insight into the rollercoaster of excitement that is my current working life.
If anyone out there is feeling the same way or asking similar questions, I’d love to hear from you. Maybe you felt like this a few years ago and are now successfully and happily pursuing a career in law/floristry/dog grooming/world domination that brings you daily joy? Or maybe you’re muddling along and that’s OK actually – you’re happy. Please share if you’d like to.