Life. We all have one. But is it any good? Obviously, the answer is subjective. I’ve only ever lived my life, so that’s the lens I’ll have to review it through. But, I’ll try to get outside myself for a little perspective.
It’s a very up and down thing, and I think that’s not only because of the natural ebbs and flows of fate and the external world, but also because the human mind adapts to its state of being. Something good happens, you feel good, but then that becomes the new normal and you want something new again, something fresh.
Alternatively, something bad happens, and you’re devastated, but that also becomes the new normal. You adapt to it. So these highs and lows are sort of naturally baked in.
Myself, I’m pretty bipolar, so natural highs and lows and external highs and lows aside, I’m kind of cascading up and down on this third layer of interpretation based on wherever the cycle of my brain chemistry is currently landing.
Ultimately, I think the way society has worked it out, most people’s lives tend to progress linearly upward as they go through the school system. You have this baked in sense of progression and advancement. The human brain likes that. For some people, this continues throughout their lives — they graduate from college and go on to work at a company that recreates the campus atmosphere, and they advance steadily upward throughout this campus-style bubble, perhaps, from time to time, transferring from one campus to another.
For others, that’s not how it goes. Life gets weird. You start to explore the world a little bit and see how all sorts of people are surviving — addicts, criminals, low wage laborers, farmers, small business owners, entrepreneurs. For the most part, people live in little systems that have been built up to support them and seem to have little hope of ever moving to another system. Which, to me, seems kind of silly.
Personally, my life is a flaming wreck and a complete mess, but I’ve experienced a lot of things, some of which many people never get to experience. I’ve experienced existence at almost every level of the socioeconomic ladder — rich, poor, upper middle class, lower middle class, abject poverty. I’ve gotten to travel around internationally to some degree — which, to most people on instagram is a pathetic amount of travel, but most people really still never get out of their hometowns. I’ve seen other states, most major cities, Japan.
I’ve been in long term relationships, short term relationships, I’ve dated older women, I’ve gotten cheated on and dumped, I’ve dumped people. I remember the first time I asked a girl out who I had a crush on and she said yes, and I was so excited. (Spoiler: it turned out she only liked me because I looked like her ex-boyfriend who she wasn’t over)
I’ve been to some cool museums and read some good books. Watched some good movies. But, good experiences weighed against bad experiences, it’s as others have said before me. Life is suffering sprinkled with just a few moments of joy. That’s been my experience, too. Your mileage may vary.
I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been truly happy and excited. I think none of what we’ve set up is really engineered to help people be happy. Survival is the priority, and then following that achieving some kind of twisted sense of power and control.
Between ‘life’ and ‘not life’ I’m not sure which I’d choose. Like, if I was a formless ghost living in infinite black with no past, present or future, no feeling and just absolute nothingness, I’m not sure I’d opt in to life, given the option.
Life. One and a half stars.