Surprisingly, I was greatly affected by the news of Carrie Fisher’s death. As it stands, I am getting over the resulting sadness, but it is only being replaced by existential dread.
I find myself asking why. Why was such a genuine, witty, brilliant woman taken from a world that so desperately needs genuine, witty, brilliant people? As an atheist, I believe that this question has no answer. There is no reason. People just die.
So what’s the point? Why do we wake up every morning and participate in the act of living? Why do we endure the suffering, the banality, and the inconveniences of this world? One day, every last trace of our existence will be erased, certainly when the sun swallows the earth in 5 billion years, but probably long before that.
Most of us need to endure decades of effort, sacrifice, and stress to achieve the life we want. But what for? Does anybody ever achieve happiness? And even if someone is working to make the world better for others, everyone who benefits will one day be long gone.
I have found myself asking these questions a lot lately. I have a chronic fear of imminent death (ironic for someone who overdosed 3 times last year), and 90% of this anxiety stems from wondering what I will leave behind. I have done nothing notable in my life so far. I doubt I have had a profound impact on other people. When I’m gone, it will be as if I never existed. So why exist?
**(I want to be clear that I am not feeling suicidal. I do not want to die; I just don’t understand the point of living. And I am reasonably happy to share these thoughts with the internet while continuing to exist)
I don’t really understand how my brain went from “Carrie Fisher is dead” to “there is no meaning to life” so quickly, but it did. And the worst part about this existential anxiety is that, unlike most of my anxiety, it is real. I am actually going to die one day. Earth will actually be swallowed up and any evidence that I ever existed will be gone. Even a couple hundred years from now, nobody will give a shit that somebody’s great-great-grandmother was born in 1994 and had a fucking blog.
I feel an anxious impulse to become famous just to be remembered a little bit longer. I am embarrassed to say that I looked into acting classes earlier today for that very reason. I just desperately need to find some meaning. And I need to do it before my time here is up.
I hate conclusions. I’ve said what I needed to say; now I just want to get on with my day. So I’ll construct this little paragraph to act as a buffer between the real content of this post and my name.