I had a conversation a week or two ago with a guy I know. We talked of how everything in life is pointless. Literally everything. Not in a negative way necessarily, we were laughing as we realised, but it’s true if you think about it. Careers, education, nice houses, achievements, hobbies, material objects… pointless. Yes they help you get by in life but what’s the point of it all? Even the meaningful things I always worry about such as relationships or following my passions are ultimately pointless. I’m a really spiritual person and definitely believe there’s more to us than flesh and bone but in terms of living on this planet; once you die all you are is a memory to people who will one day die also.
I know this sounds so pessimistic but I think it’s a beautiful realisation. Nothing we do or don’t do actually matters. It removes so much of the pressure we put on ourselves as humans. People often worry about finding their purpose in life (myself included) but when you think about it, it doesn’t really matter what you do between birth and death. If you think your life purpose is to be a singer, be a painter or even help old ladies cross the street, great. But for what reason were you put on this Earth to do these things?
Do animals have a life purpose, or do they simply live their lives? Have you ever judged a cat on its level of success or a dog on its career path? Can you imagine a fish going through depression because it didn’t get into university or a horse get angry that it didn’t get promoted? Crazy, isn’t it? The way this world works these days has made us lose sight of life. Everything revolves around money and “success” now. . We needn’t rush anything or put ourselves under pressure to appear successful because it doesn’t matter. Since it’s all pointless anyway, we may as well enjoy this life while we have it, right?
If you know me personally you’ll know my main priority in life is to enjoy myself and stray from things that bring me a lot of stress. Regardless of whether or not that looks good to society. Huge gaps on my CV and only half a degree? Maybe, but sitting in a classroom or being a slave to time and money in an office isn’t nearly as exciting or interesting as travelling the world. Having a degree and/or great career isn’t important to me anymore which is why I struggle so much to do things (jobs, uni etc.) that I don’t care about. Especially when it takes up most of my waking hours.
When I started my job here in Canada every single person I met in the office told me I did so well to get into the organisation and “get my foot in the door”, like it was assumed I’d be staying there for life. Everyone there bragged about their length of service like it’s an achievement (technically it is an achievement that they haven’t gone insane), with one woman telling me she’s been there 50 years. I couldn’t help but cringe. Yes, to the rest of society it’s a “great job” but to me, a 9-5 job feels like hell. When you work for a big corporation you’re shoved into these cookie cutter moulds so you can be just like everyone else. Everyone else who claims to “love their job” yet watches the clock all day until they can go home. And that terrifies me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to have a way of making an income. I really am. I have friendly colleagues and get paid well, and it’s an easy enough job for the next month or two so I can fund more travels. But why would anyone aspire to work in a tiny cubicle, cut off from the rest of the world, doing repetitive tasks that don’t matter, all the while counting down the days until Friday? For 40+ years. *shudders*
I know that when I leave Victoria in the summer to travel again my colleagues, and probably others, will think I’m crazy and ungrateful for walking away from a “dream job”. No weekend work, beautiful location, lots of paid vacation, business trips and discounts, great wages… Just a few years ago I would’ve killed for this job. But now, no amount of money or status can keep me doing something that doesn’t fulfil me. Like I said, it’s all pointless. Having more money than I need or having people think I’m “doing well in life” doesn’t matter at all. I just want simplicity and happiness.
I’m beginning to understand that life isn’t a journey or a series of things to be done- life just is. I’m trying to remember this when I get anxious, depressed or angry. All that matters is the present moment. So here’s to relaxing the grip and just enjoying this pointless life.