Musings, Unbound

Hollow Year

What is existence?  How do we construct its purpose?  When we do manage to wrestle some menial sense of direction, how do we know it’s not something contrived, something shoehorned in in the last moment?  These are questions I have been wrestling with, and they’ve only become more prevalent and urgent in the past couple of weeks.  

When I was younger, I had many ideas about what I wanted to be when I grew up.  A marine biologist discovering the secrets of the Marianas Trench.  A paleontologist filling in holes in the historical timeline.  A secret agent protecting the world from untold doom.  An astronaut and first woman to have her baby on the moon.  What grand dreams!

I also wanted to be a teacher.  I wanted to be one since I was in kindergarten.  It was the safe dream, but it was my dream nonetheless.  I made it happen and loved every minute of it.  Until, I didn’t anymore.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are still days when I believe that I’ll only be alive if I work with young minds.  Then there are the days, even after eight years, where I sit in my car during lunch and cry.  It used to be these days were few and far between.  Now, the marks on the calendar tell me this is more than just a passing phase.  This is where I am, that bittersweet moment where you know the dream is ending.

So, I ask again what is existence?  How do we construct its purpose?  Do we define it by what we do?  Do we define it by who we become?  Do we define it by those we keep in our life?  Do we define it by family?  Do we define it by those things we have left undone but intended to do all along?  Really, I think all of these just ring hollow through the years.  Really, I think the answer is there is no answer.

Perhaps, it’s because the summer of my life is tending towards fall, and I have no real harvest to speak of to bring in that I am asking all these questions.  Perhaps it’s the impending winter days which seem much shorter and the nights much colder that I am seeking to rekindle some truth to keep me warm.  Perhaps, I should take the wisdom of a student who passionately interrupted our discussion on the fallibility of mankind in “By the Waters of Babylon” earlier in the week with “Miss, it’s too early for an existential crisis!”

In response to Daily Prompt: Construct
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Hollow” by Daswortgewand (CC0 Public Domain)

5 thoughts on “Hollow Year”

  1. Brilliantly written and shared. Thank you. I’ve been where you have been. And, even as a grown man, I still cry once in a while…it feels good. I don’t know how to define existence or purpose. But, I do know that I haven’t stopped having grand dreams. My blog is a grand dream. It took me decades to do it, but, I’m on my way. I think through what I might define as my hollow life, at times, I really take a serendipitous approach and take thankful stock of what I do have. Three great kids, for instance. And, as for my purpose? To serve others works for me. It might seem difficult when I am trying to find my way, but, it’s through giving of myself that something comes back my way, to fulfil me. Thanks again for sharing…it was so heartfelt.

    1. Thank you for your reply, and I’m glad you enjoyed my writing. I think that this blog is on it’s way of becoming a grand dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to write, to be a writer. I suppose there is no time like the present to start working on that dream. I usually have a more serendipitous approach to life as well. It’s just that sometimes our resolve gets beaten down, and it’s hard to see the proverbial silver lining. Thank you so much for reminding me that there is one, and that I shouldn’t stop looking for one.

  2. You see, “consciousness”, or “the sentience” is fiction. Humans fancy that there is something special about the way we perceive the world and yet we live in the same routine, barely questioning the decisions we take, seldom questioning the ways of the world around us, and pacified for most parts, to be told what to do next. The emotions and feelings are just the stories we tell ourselves, and every story needs a beginning. The suffering that you imagine makes you alive, gives your life a purpose, a sense of reassurance that this is where you grow, THIS IS YOUR BEGINNING.

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