Uncurl Yourself from the Feeble Position
Warning: This post might leave you in existential crisis
Recently I watched the documentary “Jim and Andy”, starring Jim Carrey. It follows Carrey in behind the scenes footage of his 1999 film “Man on the Moon”.
Along with seeing Carey’s deep and sometimes harrowing process, we see a real side Jim Carrey. Most know him as the man of impressions and physical comedy, but this genius comes with the price of sanity. Carrey struggles with bipolar disorder, which put him into a pseudo early retirement after realizing that he gave all of himself to roles and had nothing left.
When something empties you, you have to reevaluate why you do it, and how long it can last. Eventually why you do anything. The meaning of it all. Love? Sure. Family? Maybe. But honestly, what is it all about? What is anything about? Why do we do anything? At the end of the day, what was it all for? What is the end game?
We have these expectations that we give to ourselves or are given to us. But what do we get out of it? The satisfaction of meeting an expectation? And if we don’t meet it, merely an evaluation of our self worth? These are questions that send me into a tailspin, usually late at night when I’m trying to sleep and my brain just won’t shut off.
Nothing in life can be planned, and more importantly nothing in life is fair. Our society created a system where hard work equals good job, or good grades equals better school, but expecting something from another is like predicting the weather. Sure, patterns exist and you can sometimes get it right. But often it is completely wrong. Did I spend five years hoping to be a professional writer? Yes. Does that guarantee that it’ll happen? Absolutely not. Is that okay? Yes.
Having critical thoughts like the ones above are good for you. They might make you super bummed out for a couple of hours, but they keep you in check about becoming consumed in things. Often things, people, events consume us without getting our permission. We can’t help it. We are a species that worries. The only way to escape the worry is to refocus your energy.
There’s a comfort in knowing most things don’t matter, it puts your life in perspective. It gives you the hindsight to understand that in a week, month, year, this thing that is pestering you probably won’t matter. It’s a freeing thought! We are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. We are not the epicenter of anything, even our own lives.
That’s what comforts me, knowing that if I mess something up, or I feel this dread of not knowing the future, that ultimately it doesn’t matter. People tell me this is a morbid way of thinking, but I find it to be freeing. I’m not apathetic to everything, I’m the opposite. I care deeply about the things I care about and the rest is insignificant.
Did that make anyone feel better? If it didn’t, just know I gave my therapist an existential crisis about this very subject. So you aren’t alone.