Nihilism, Existentialism and Meaning
To finally live the way that felt right for me, I had to face some hard truths about myself. It happened pretty violently, with an outburst of emotion on the day I decided to leave school. I simultaneously cried, got angry, laughed, got euphoric and guilty.
I left, and my emotions stabilized.
5 months after hitting the road, I chose to go back to Switzerland, where mom is. I rested, recuperated and introspected some more.
Again, a wave of emotions overcame me, but this time as questions.
What am I doing here?
Why am I traveling?
What’s the point of it all?
And the answer I came up with was despairing. Because it was “nothing”.
What am I doing here? Nothing.
Why am I traveling? No reason.
What’s the point of it all? Nothing.
I mourned this feeling pointlessness until I hit the road a few weeks later.
And then I was alive again. I was in New York, moving, laughing, living. I was traveling to Dallas, I was meditating for hours on end. I was hitchhiking to New Orleans and I was having philosophical conversations with strangers.
That’s when I got something. Nihilistic as life suddenly felt, I realized that meaning and value can only be created by ourselves, for ourselves.
I realized that by losing meaning in life, I was being given the freedom to define value in my own words and in my own way.
And I realized that I have an insatiable curiosity for everything I don’t know yet. What does that mean? How do you use that? I found that I love facing someone who’s willing to teach me. Someone who will sit down and spend hours telling me about their passion and how it works. Who will discuss facts of life, and the history of the unknown. Who will read and wonder over questions about the world around us.
Life is meaningless until you find your own definition of it.