So I watched an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one of my new favorite TV shows) recently and the concept of it really hit me. This particular episode had all of the characters put under a spell that caused them to sing about their deepest, darkest feelings.
In this episode, Buffy (the girl in the gifs) admits she’s not really living her life, even though she’s living everyday.
Here’s a youtube link if you’d like to listen to the song for reference.
She finds herself just going through the motions of existence.
Of course, Buffy’s character has a lot of other things on her plate (one of those things being saving the world), but she’s probably one of the most realistic, ‘human’ characters I’ve ever seen. And every episode I watch, I relate to her more and more.
She’s a 20-something college dropout (not by choice, for that matter) that has to fight literal demons, all while fighting her own inner demons at the same time. She’s forced to present this strong and brave demeanor to protect the world, and is also expected to act like her “normal old self” around her friends.
But in reality, her entire life is constant fighting. She’s fighting against herself, and fighting against the demons that are trying to kill her and the ones she loves. And because of all of this, she is lost inside herself.
In a lot of ways, life is just about going through the motions.
Everyone in life has expectations that they have to uphold. Whether you’re expected to go to work, or attend school, you’re expected to “live” in a certain way to actively progress or move forward. But what happens when this supposed progress starts to feel like ‘sleepwalking through life’s endeavors’?
What happens when each day starts to blur together and you realize that the days may be progressing, but you don’t seem to be progressing at all? Or, you’re at least not aware of the progression, because you’re so caught up in the act of ‘living’ that you forgot what living actually feels like. Or why life is worth living, for that matter.
That’s been my dilemma as of late.
I’m just going through the motions. Some days are better than others, but truly, what happens when you can hardly remember what day it is? What happens when you find your mind blank with little reason for it not to be?
The hard part about feeling this way is that even though you go out and seem to enjoy yourself…even though you indulge in your hobbies and fulfill the definition of doing “well”, you’re still lost.
I describe my act of going through the motions as feeling foggy and dazed. I’m doing things – yes. I’m here, writing this right now, in turn, progressing my art and passion for writing. That should feel like progress, shouldn’t it? I’m doing something, aren’t I? So why can’t I appreciate and see that progress?
I’ve been told this feeling usually happens to people who are older than me, but of course I find myself as an anomaly once again. A girl either consumed in her feelings or stricken with a type of apathy that’s maddening.
The hard part about this sensation is that sometimes your brain likes to trick itself – I find myself living my life through events, rather than on a day by day basis. The event can be as simple as spending the day with a close friend, or as big as going to a party/finishing up a semester at school/seeing extended family, etc. When I’m living in these ‘events’, I become a totally different person. I have a pseudo-sense of joy , and sometimes get so wrapped up in it, that the moment the event ends, my apathy hits me like a truck.
And in the end, these events seem to be the only thing keeping me feeling like I’m progressing. They keep reminding me why I’m here, and why I’m allowed to feel. Why I should feel.
But what about all the parts in between?
Even as I sit here writing, I think of how I will feel, and what I will do when this ends – the writing that is. I’ll finish this post, and then try to fill my day with things that represent progress.
I’ll continue searching for a job, send out some resumes – Progress.
I’ll play a video game and work on leveling up – Progress.
I’ll start sketching out another art piece, maybe even look up some tutorial videos to refine my style – Progress.
I’ll think of ideas for new stories, or even work on another blog post – Progress.
All of these things represent progress on all different levels (you can replace my lines of progress with any that would apply to yourself), but again, are all these acts just clever distractions from…well, the weight of existence? Because what is progress really when you’ll infinitely never be good enough? When, in reality, you live your life by progressing, but will never reach total fulfilment because of how infinite life is. We take two steps forward in our lifetime, when there’s still thousands of steps to go.
So, tell me, what is progress?
To quote another line from Buffy – Is this really me? Is living life through events, the things that I can still hardly keep to memory, what life is about?
I suppose feeling like having chronic memory loss isn’t helping this situation. That’s another one of my biggest struggles – forgetting. And it’s something everyone does, of course we can’t remember every moment of every day, but there’s a part of me that wants to.
There’s a part of me that wants every moment of my life to be worth remembering, but that isn’t the case, and never will be – That’s just how life is.
I suppose that’s why I feel as dazed as I do – like I’m just going through the motions. Maybe I’m just too stuck in my way of thinking (I’m beyond stubborn). But, that’s just me, and at least I’m being honest about it.
But, to end on a positive note, I have hope for 2017.
It’s a new slate, a fresh start. This year will hopefully be filled with new experiences, new friends, and progress that’s worth noting…that’s worth remembering, even if I’m just taking a small step forward.
So here’s to another year – let my heart be filled with something that will only bring me closer to myself and to the good that the future holds.
Do you ever find yourself just going through the motions? If so, what do you do to combat this feeling? What keeps you moving forward? What keeps you progressing? Leave a comment below!