February 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
Let’s have at existence.
Goals, aspirations, ambitions. Hobbies, passions. Jobs, careers. Leisure, pleasure. Lovers, family, friends.
These things make a life what it has been, what it is, and what it will be. So much of the time, I am so unbelievably stressed about attending to it all. Why? Because these things, as I just said, make up your life, and they add up to something more than just life as it is. They are part of an equation for the measurement of your contentment. They are your reasons to feel satisfied, proud, happy about your self. They are the parts to the whole, the means to the end — the end being the moment you look back on your life and say, “That was all worth it.”
We all wonder about our own existence, and we all measure our lives on some varying rubric of meaning. That’s what makes us human. The quest for meaning. The meaning of existence. What is all this for? Why do I work so hard? Why do I wake up in the morning, pull myself out of bed, if not for some greater reason, if not to chase the purpose we all seek.
I was laying in bed last night, talking with Takafumi. It was late, and our eyes were heavy. We were both drifting to sleep, but what kept us talking was a conversation on our jobs. What are we doing? Why are we doing this? And, having posed these questions, it was as if we were admitting that we weren’t completely happy about our careers — that we weren’t convinced that what we do matters. It was as if we were acknowledging our own search for purpose in our lives, something to care about and to keep us going at the end of each day.
For so many of us, work is a direct signifier of our ability to obtain said meaning. If our careers didn’t somehow make us feel significant, we’d believe that our lives have amounted to nothing. I’ve always wondered why so many people weigh careers so heavily in the whole life equation. But regardless of the answer, I’ll still feel that what I care about and what I do are inextricably linked to each other, and I won’t be truly happy until I forge them together.
For me, for right now, something is missing from my life equation, and I am anxious to know that Takafumi and I will one day look back at how we filled in those gaps, that we will someday make it all add up, and that we will come to know how good it feels to recall moments in a life that was well worth the living.
The morning grew older, and we said less and less. The mood was sullen, with no answers to our questions in sight, and time began to quicken as I eased into rest. Takafumi inched closer to me, resting his arms around my small body, surrounding me. I could feel his breath warming the nape of my neck, and the worries began to fade away.
Not knowing how long it had been since we last said anything, I looked at him, as if waking from some daze, and I kissed him. This was something I found meaning in. Something to recall in those end days.
There were a few hazy last words, so hazy I don’t know if I actually said it out loud. But there they were. And here they will linger.
“You and I will find our way.”