“What have I done with my life?!”
There are certain moments in our lives where a situation presents, in 100” High Definition 4K Ultra HDTV, a more detail and complete view of Life (with capital L) that puts our own lives in perspective and gets us thinking/going – or to be more accurate, gets us into a mini existential life-crisis.
Well this afternoon, this situation came in the form of the Introduction and Foreword to the book: The Salmon of Doubt. The book is a collection of writings of the late great author, scriptwriter, comic, world’s no.1 nerd, animal lover and activist, Douglas Adams. The prologue by Nicholas Wroe, and the foreword by the also very funny Stephen Fry, painted the life of Douglas Adams, the extremely successful, cult-enducing, writer of The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (one of my favorite book series in this lifetime).
Sure, Mr. Adams was an ordinary human like the rest of us. He had a nerdy passion like mine and gets into massive excitement about little things like the latest Apple gadget. He enjoyed music and had even played with the Pink Floyd. And he loved his daughter very much. But I believe, at times in his life, he was also an asshole. He had that typical assholic behavior of an artist who doesn’t give a flying fuck on the implications of his action if he had a work to create or a script to finish. Yep. That one.
But I read about him creating the amazing series at the age of 25. And I read about Stephen Fry, his buddy, missing him cause now he no longer have Adams to make fun of a posh hotel soap over email, and he no longer have Adams replying him with an incredibly witty comment (over email) that would make Fry dance around in the hotel room for an hour….
…And that got me off my bed to stand around in my room, literally just spinning and looking around my room, looking at items strewn everywhere, photos in many many picture frames, mementos of life young and younger, and thinking “What have I done with my life? What have I done in my life? Have I created something significant? Have I been that person that make someone laugh and dance around in his/her room for half an hour? Why am I here??”
It was like a bewitched trance really. The spinning around like a slowed down Sufi dancer, the repeated existential questions like mantras, the extended arm, the glossed gaze over different random items. I was really having a moment..
..and I stopped.
There were 2 ways I could have continued from there. One was to go into panic mode, gasp dramatically, and silently sighed (but actually screaming inside) “Omg I’m having an existential life crisis..” and proceed to wail miserably (which is probably the path I would easily have chosen in the past). Two was to shrug the shoulder and laugh and smile and say “Haha, look at that, you just had an exciting crazy moment there. Yep, you just had a mini crisis. And yet look at what it did to you? It woke something in you, didn’t it? Good.. good *nod sagely and stroke imaginative sagely beard*).
So I went with the 2nd choice.
I feel like someone just turned on the stove in my body. My heart is pumping slightly faster, my eyes are wide open, and my skin feels electrified.
This is not about doing an inventory of what I have done with my life (Well, okay, it’s about that too. Never stop being grateful of where you are in your life, folks!), but it’s about getting inspirations and new jolts of life at the weirdest places and situations. And about mini existential life-crisis.
Crisis can be bad or good, depending how we handle it and view it. We can crumble and fall apart into a pool of unworthy self-criticizing mess, Or we can rise above it, fully aware that our lives are never comparable to anyone else’s life, and take that shocking endorphin to do something good instead.
So this is me, taking that endorphin to write you this story. And to tell you that these moments happen – they happen randomly and unexpectedly. And you have the power to use it for awesome things, which you never know, might lead you to write your first novel, or start your own business, or start a circus, or it might lead you to the best thing of all: happiness. And it’s exciting.
But you are not going to get there if you’re stuck in an unhealthy cycle of mundane life starring you as a walking zombie. So this is a reminder for you to do something fun everyday, like read a book, play music, sing, dance, or take a walk outside, or swim, or cook, or whatever your heart desires.
What I did before I picked up the book was deciding on whether I need to do the work that I’m getting paid for or let myself relax and read the book; the work that I’ve done last night and the night before, and the night before that; the work that I absolutely enjoy but I am also aware can suck me into it. I was in a little struggle of easing into taking a break and reading that book. The temptation to work was high. But I relaxed and stayed by the book cause that was my reward for working. And I’m glad I stuck by it cause it led me to my crazy lil moment.
So, have a wonderful week ahead! Don’t forget to make time to rest and do something that you love. You’ll never know what excitement you’ll get out of it.