I was going to write a poem.
I was going to write a story.
But now that I have the opportunity, I'm too afraid to do so.
Over the past 3 weeks, I started feeling existential again...
My own life seemed a wisp of smoke, or less than that. Perhaps a spark
between two voids: that before I was born, and that beyond my end.
My net existence averages to zero in the grand scheme of things.
I want to see one million years ahead. I want eternity, even. I don't want
to wither away, to drift in memory loss or incontinence. Too many people have
died already, and in my opinion it's time for it to stop. Overpopulation
notwithstanding, eighty or even ninety years is by no means enough time for
a person to experience the universe. I'm twenty-four, and have never even
left the United States. When I was little I dreamed of being the first human
on Mars. I was going to grow up and invent time travel. I was going to have a
room in my house full of nothing but Lego. I was going to have ten cats and
Perhaps I can still do some of these things. But over the years, my needs have changed:
there is more of an urgency to my thoughts and actions as each year I feel time passing
more and more swiftly. Already I have finished college, and already people my age of my
acquantance are having children. It is strange not to be a member of the most recent generation.
I get a weird feeling walking into such places as retail stores. Bright decor, colors, people
making transactions. Exchanging bits of matter for other bits of matter. Seen through a super
sensitive microscope, human interaction would look like a frenzy of particle movement, or a slow
drift of tiny strings, perhaps. Only the scope of our perception: our eyes and ears that have adapted
to the size, shape, sounds, and smells of our environment, makes any of this have any meaning for us.
I understand for the first time why people seek religion. I can't believe in any of the major
religions myself, but I can see how even in the absence of hard proof, people can convince themselves
that a certain philosophy is true. The brain wants to exist. In a sense, it cannot properly
conceive of NOT existing. Something comes along that teases the mind with the promise: "You will
never truly die". It is in the interest of humans' reproduction to be happy, healthy, and motivated.
Someone sitting there being depressed over their own nonexistence is not likely to make the best mate.
Therefore, the brain must find a means to circumvent this existential brooding. In my case, it is
not religion that has allowed me to do this, but something else.
And what is my "something else"? Truthfully, I don't know! I guess I just keep telling myself that
I will achieve an incredibly long lifespan somehow. It's the only way I've found to keep myself from
brooding too much. Whether I try calorie restriction, take megavitamins, or eventually get myself
cryonically frozen, I'll find a way. In the meantime, I am going to try to learn as much as I can
and enjoy the beautiful aspects of life and what I have left of my youth.