There’s something a little funny about existing…
Everyday we wake up is another day that we are expected to live – we roll out of bed, brush our teeth, make breakfast, and continue on with our day – whether that be by going to work, school, or engaging in one of our hobbies. But what exactly happens when living becomes existing?
To clarify, to exist is to live objectively in reality, or to live under adverse conditions. The interesting thing about this definition is the addition of the word objective. This specific word implies that we exist, but are not influenced by personal feelings or opinions. We are seemingly bound by the logical parameters of our existence and are continually forced to follow the flow of those guidelines with no feeling or personal influence.
Lost in the Mind of a Machine
To break down this idea, if you’re existing versus living, you basically are your own mechanical construct. You begin to live on gasoline rather than air and each day seems to pass mindlessly, your gears grinding under your skin. Memories become muddled together and you run on autopilot.
As someone who is easily lost in their own head, I find myself slipping into this dreadful existential mindset relatively often. Motivation becomes non-existent (cue my unintentional pun), I have the energy level of a turtle, and the creative inspiration of someone who majored in math (not to offend you math people out there, but work with me here). I just get so lost in my own sense of existence that I find myself questioning my own heartbeat almost every moment of the day. The most maddening thing about this feeling is that you become both physically and mentally numb, and being distracted feels like the only solution (which, we can’t be distracted all the time, now can we? I mean, we’ve gotta do the…well, living part of life too, right?).
Many days, I find myself pushing senselessly forward with whatever gasoline I have to muster, and call that living, when it most definitely isn’t.
So I stop and ask myself – Why am I living? Why am I existing? When can I have control over my life in a manner that allows me to live with subjective feeling and thought, rather than be lost in this objective sense of stoicism?
The Answer – Remind yourself of You!
I exist, excuse me, live, through my own realities I create. I stick to what I know, and with who I love. I push out as much creative, ridiculous passion that I can muster, whether that creativity is simply used to make someone laugh, or by putting my thoughts down on paper to solidify I exist, I live, for a reason.
So find the strings that hold together the pieces of your heart, and tie memory knots throughout your body, because even if you become your own mechanical construct, you can re-ground yourself by reminding your heart of what you love and who you love. You have worked too hard at building who you are now just to settle for existing – So, surround yourself with those who motivate you, inspire you, guide you, and tell you that they care about you with utmost sincerity. Give yourself a break, indulge in your hobby, get lost in the smiles of others, get lost in laughter, in joy, in all the things that make existing turn into living.
We all have things we love, and trust me, you have put in too much effort not to live for them. So remind yourself of the things that feed your heart and say – “This is why I live.”
Then maybe we’ll feel the air in our lungs, rather than the oil in our gears.