anxiety · life · writing

2020 Existential Crisis

Well, here I am again, going through the motions this thing called life. I’m going to be honest. I don’t know what the hell I am doing. In fact, I don’t think I ever really knew I was doing since the day of my conception, to being born, and being the person I am now. What on the earth is the point of life? I used to think I didn’t need to know right away, that someday I would figure it all out by finding a purpose, a passion to ground me to my place in the world where I am self-assured and confident and if not, I would be moving towards some rudimentary semblance of that. I don’t feel like I am accomplishing either or that I ever will. And if I do, I have doubts that it would make me feel complete.

As of late, the perpetual melancholy that has been drifting in and out of my consciousness for since forever is felt by me in more intense waves. I honestly don’t know anymore. My focus is here and there, I do stuff to distract myself from thinking, I carry out obligations just to get them done, I lie awake doing a mind shuffle of things that did happen and things that did not happen. I am tired of the way everything is, the way the world is. Everything is something that needs attention to be taken care of.

Even the subjects I am currently studying remotely in college are triggering. The more I know, the more unoptimistic I feel at the overflow of necessities. The politics, the climate change, the need to be active and involved in making changes in every day life to better the suffocating environment, the bills I am not paying now but will have to one day, the hunger pangs that are sated now but in a few hours will return to signal I should eat another meal for nourishment. It’s like a silent hush of craziness in the background that is individualized for me, as all that jumble must sound different depending on the person and what he/she is going through in his/her life.

All through this, my personality feels bleak and empty. I haven’t known myself in a long time. I don’t know what it’s like to not react without the haze of anxiety. Every bit of my personality feels tethered to that alone. In my dreams sometimes I behave without restraint, without fear of being judged. It’s freeing. And then I wake up and am seized with sensory overload and habitual caution for everything and everyone around me.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately for class assignments. I am no stranger to fanfiction and I’ve dipped in and out of various fandoms throughout my teen and adulthood years. I’ve tried my hand at being creative by writing my own fanfiction in existing fandoms before but it has never gone over well. The worst is falling into the pattern of writing a mary-sue character because very often the pitfall of writing an original character is wishing to create a person with defining traits but not knowing how to ensure the person has realistic reactions and dialogue patterns that don’t make them seem invincible.

Writing can be a therapeutic escape, but my ideas in my mind don’t translate well on paper. The result is I spend a lot of time fantasizing about stories and picturing how certain scenes would play out, without being able to write them which is quite frustrating. At times I think because I very much feel like a stranger in trying to understand my own (non-existent) personality that this is why I have so much trouble building an original character in fiction and understanding how to give a fleshed out interpretation of the person.

It’s possible nothing can really fill the perceived hole I feel inside myself. During my outdoor walks, I see couples together hand-in-hand. It’s both foreign and not foreign to my eyes. Love. Companionship. I don’t think I know what love is. I’ve seen duty, obligation, tolerance, dysfunction tangled in there with love. I’ve heard about all the horrible things some people do in the name of love and because of love. There’s the idea love can make people better, can save the world. But the horror stories of people driving themselves into ruin for love and losing their minds over love is why I don’t want it.

I was unaccustomed to the non-verbal cue I received from the last guy who showed interest in me, in which he did three things: 1) Maintained unbroken eye contact with me, 2) Gave me an unwavering, bright smile, and 3) Very slightly moved closer to me by taking a step forward, almost as if by accident to move out of someone else’s way. Those three things unnerved me because I saw it as the beginnings of someone’s interest in me I could not live up to. Personally I just can’t see myself living like that either. Finding that one person to spend most of my days with. On dates, on trips, in an apartment, in a bed. The dependency, the co-existing, the heartbreak, the arguments, the insecurities. Maybe for other people but not me. Plus, I would have to really, really like someone to go that far with them. I don’t, and perhaps it’s better that way. Less complicated, less worries, less trouble, less lies and manipulations. Live cautiously.

One of my female cousins who I knew in childhood is getting married next year to her college sweetheart. The postcard she sent in the mail announcing this had a posed snapshot of her and her husband-to-be. For her, the cycle of life is going as she intended. Make a career (she’s a doctor), get married, pop out some babies.

It is such a cultural norm that people marry and have children. I am turning away from that the older I get. I think about the unbroken generations that came before me. 1756, that’s the year it says in my father’s lineage book that his female ancestor migrated from Pingyuan County in Guangdong, China to the island of Taiwan after her husband died. With her, she brought along her two sons and a nephew. Child after child, passing down the bloodline until I was born. Every month I find it ironic when the blood starts. My body was biologically built for pregnancy but I’ll never use it. Continuing the bloodline is a traditional belief in Chinese culture, almost like it’s a moral obligation to have children to ensure the family continues on, which I find quite problematic for the modern age if economic and social reasons are the main excuses being used for why having children is necessary.

If you read this far in the blog post and are staring at the screen thinking, “What kind of verbal diatribe did I just read? Is this chick all right?”, don’t worry, I am just having a life crisis.

3 thoughts on “2020 Existential Crisis

  1. Just dropping a little message of encouragement. Am not gonna tell you that everything’s going to be okay or anything like that, but just want to let you know that someone else on the other end of the world read your post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I shall never have children, or be in a relationship, so you are not the only one.
    I used to feel other people pressuring me at times, in getting in with someone. But no. Never.
    Children one time I remember I wanted, but glad it didn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

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