The Upside of Doubt

Donicka - Lanai City, Hawaii
Entered on November 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This world is a blur; it’s meaningless and absurd, confusing and insignificant. Who am I to try and understand it in its entirety? Not even the greatest of scholars and the brightest of thinkers can. The solution is to break up life’s concepts into pieces, and attack each one at a time. That is, only if one cares to understand any of it. And I happen to be one of those who don’t. But I do understand my personal take on the meaning of life and its purpose. It just doesn’t have any.

I got into a fight with my parents recently. These are fairly common and always end with the slamming of a door. They mean just about nothing and are almost always over something ridiculous. This fight was about a mirror that no one wanted. Whatever happened, happened, and my room was completely trashed as a result. Teen angst and life’s frustrations exploded within my personal haven and it was my responsibility to fix it, as it was my own doing.

Some half an hour later, I sat in the middle of it all observing the damage that I had done. All around were things that somehow belonged to me, things that had some sort of memory behind them which I could not even remember; some special meaning given to each to justify why I held onto them; things which meant absolutely nothing to me anymore. I glanced around and saw things that I once cherished as nothing but a waste of space. And I had to smile at myself for thinking that way. I smiled while I threw out the sentimental things from friends and family, just personal things that meant something to somebody in some way. But not to me, not any more at least. I spent an extra second admiring those things from those special people only to ask myself why I ever kept it so long in the first place. The answer being because I cherished the person, not the present, and I still do in spite of being such an ingrate.

While sifting through the mess, I slowly began to decipher my belief. By simply disowning the things I once held a high value on, I realized that all they really were were things, until I gave them some value. Somehow, the pen half-full (not empty) with ink was worth more than the shiny metal bracelet that never fit right. I could use the pen, give it a specific course of action, but the bracelet would always just be a bracelet that was two sizes too big. A further step back will show that both are just things; the pen is a pen because I use it as a pen, and the bracelet–just a waste of space. Or maybe I was trying way too hard to sound like an “individual.”

I mocked myself in those moments for making notes of my thoughts which I solely wished to use in this very essay. I wanted to exploit this event for the sake of a grade. But then again, all a grade is is a letter until one makes it out to be a reflection of character. In fact, the mess was so big that I continuously made notes to avoid digging into it all. At one point I picked up my Thesaurus to look up different terms for “meaningless” and “absurd.”

My rage had subsided and my thinking became generally normal. How a fit of violence and fury could result in my enlightened view on life is beyond me. But I came to one clean and precise conclusion. I realized what my belief actually meant. Before this, all I was was intrigued with the idea of existing to solely exist. Now I truly understand that values are personal. There are things and/or there are beings. They don’t have innate meanings unless one is assigned to them. I believe that life has no absolute meaning–we give it our own–and to have one is presumptuous and pretty damn bold.