If Somebody Told Me to Pick a Husband at Age Twenty-Three, I’d Likely Be Waking Up Next to Some Guy Who Can’t Spell “Lemon.”
You know why we’re all unhappy and restless and jaded and depressed?
LIFE IS BORING US TO TEARS.
Boredom is the devil, but most people don’t realize they’re bored. They’re busy working. They’re busy running. They’re busy doing ALL THE ERRANDS and keeping up with those fucksticks, The Jones’. It doesn’t feel like they’re bored, but they are. They’re bored with life. They’re bored with themselves. They’re bored with the very act of breathing.
They’re so very busy, but they’re still bored. There’s confusion between “having a million things to do” and “having meaningful things to do.” Busyness doesn’t make you energized. It doesn’t delight you or engross you or exhilarate you or light you up. It just makes you busy. And bored. So very, very bored.
You know what the problem is? No intellectual goals. Nobody’s got any of those, anymore. We used to have lots of intellectual goals. Getting through mid-terms and then final exams and then the summer and then the school year and then and graduating high school and then getting through college and then interning somewhere and then graduating college and then getting your first job—SO MANY INTELLECTUAL GOALS. And then you’re off into the world and then, suddenly, there are no more goals! Massive goal withdrawal! Now you’re just suppose to sit there for the next sixty years. Sit there and carry out tasks. Sit there and perform. Sit there and “use your education.” There are no more meaningful milestones, so we started inventing our own. Let’s get married! Let’s buy a house! Let’s have a baby! Let’s move to a bigger house! These are all wildly arbitrary milestones, but there they are. We’ve made them up because we’re all so bored with our lives, that we had to invent reasons to get up in the morning. But my god, is no one really thinking this through?
If somebody told me that at age twenty-three that I had to pick the person I was going to wake up to next to for the next seventy years of my life, I’d likely be waking up next to some guy who can’t spell “lemon.” Why is it the common practice to sign a life-long, legally binding contract at that age?! Maybe back in the day when there were fields to plow, but things have changed. And frankly, at that age I hardly know what I want or who I am, much less who you are, and how we’ll probably want different things in about five minutes, but let’s do it! Let’s get married!
Listen, MARRIAGE IS FUCKING INSANE. So are babies. Babies are the weirdest thing anyone could ever actually, like, want at that age. It’s a thing we do, and it’s a thing we’ve convinced ourselves to want before our eggs shrivel up, because everybody’s suppose to like babies, right? And everybody listens to that one friend who keeps blah blah blahing about there never being a “good time,” so now is as good as ever. Right? Wrong. Babies are the fastest way to end your own life if you’re not ready. Babies mean wiping the ass of another human being and doing nothing but attending to them all day long, for the next eighteen years, and giving everything else up for that. Why would we do this without being really, really sure we want it? (It’s fine if you want it, but make sure it’s you who wants it, and not everybody else.)
Ditto jobs, you guys. Why are we still working jobs we hate? Why is that still a thing? Why aren’t you doing something about it? THIS IS YOUR MOTHER FUCKING LIFE. The clock is ticking. Your minutes are expiring on this planet, and you’re going to blow them all doing some shit you’re bored to tears by every day? What are you DOING? Why would you do that?
The good news is this: there’s an antidote. And that antidote is intellectual pursuit. Pick a thing you’re even mildly interested in and go learn about it. Go do the thing. Study the thing. Immerse yourself in the thing. Become an apprentice. Read a book. Get on that thing called the Internet and read. You don’t have to launch a whole new career out of every single thing you’re interested in—the point is to stimulate yourself (not like that, perv) and throw some neurons around because YOU ARE DYING OF BOREDOM so of course you’re feeling restless and unhappy: your brain is barely on life support. Because brains need input. They need stimulus and provocation and inspiration and refreshment. But we’re starving our brains, because we’ve got our heads so far up our “life journey” path, that we don’t even think to deviate. We don’t even think at all! Nobody’s doing any real thinking, anymore. They’re just doing a bunch of random shit on autopilot. Whatever they say, goes. Whatever I’m suppose to do, I’m going to do. Just gonna follow everybody else, on this one. Surely they know best.
They do not know best. Nobody knows better than you. We’re all following around a bunch of mouth breathers who are only doing the things they’re doing because they don’t know any better, either. Let’s think! Think! Think! Let’s have the courage to be original people. Let’s have the courage to have different opinions. Let’s have the courage to do something we want to do, just because we want to do it. You do not need a rationalization. You do not need permission. All you need is the desire to do something—then go do it. That’s called a hobby. Hobbies are awesome! Who cares if it helps you advance in your career? Who cares if it’s practical? Who cares if it’s going to cost some money, or some time, or some energy? Not doing anything at all is costing you your life. How embarrassing is that? To let your life expire like an old, moldy tomato.
We are not moldy tomatoes.
We are human beings with rich, rich ideas and deep, deep feelings, and even more wonderful dreams—even if they’ve been tucked away for a while. It’s such a good thing, having ideas. In the past, people used to be persecuted for having their own ideas, but now you can have an original thought without going to jail. Take advantage of that! Be the kind of person you’re proud to know. Be the kind of person you’d look up to.
There’s a lot of talk going around, these days, about finding meaning, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe we should stop listening.
Maybe we should start doing, instead.