Performative Existence

Pretending not to notice the absurdity of it all for over 30 years

What is your purpose? 1/?

For the longest time I thought I was supposed to be this incredible writer. I've had stories running through my head for decades now, and I just knew that it was my job to get them down and give them to the world to read. For the longest time, the details ofy life have been a sideline to this idea. My jobs were all meaningless distractions that kept me from the page. An education (even one in a field that would help this pursuit) wasn't worth the monetary shackles that would be put on me. My worth was tied into this idea that I was a writer.

I'm still stuck on the idea, honestly, but I've been fighting for forever to let it go. I'm not built currently to make a successful go at being a writer, and because of that, it has become another never-ending negative feedback loop.

I still work on stories and have hopes of one day writing and publishing a book, but I'm doing my best to see it as a hobby I'm very passionate about, not the wholesale reason for me to be alive.

So here's the thing... 2/?

Propaganda works. I've been foolish to think that modern America can be reached by providing facts and long form posts about this atrocity or that. Sound bytes, tweets, and sensationalist images are the currency of our discourse now. I need to play by these rules in there's any chance of fighting back against the rising tide of fascism. It sounds ridiculous to say something like that. In 2016, that would have been laughed out of existence. But that's how quickly we've decayed.

No, propaganda is the way forward. If anyone challenges the work, I'll be prepared to defend it, but a colorful image on your timeline is a lot harder to ignore than a wall of text.

Realizing the absurd 1/?

I have had the biggest fucking problem trying to synthesize a theory of how I think the universe works and where I belong exactly I belong in it. I have gone through a great number of philosophies, self help plans, and even a religion or two. All in a search for some greater meaning to my own life. And even beyond that, looking at moral philosophy only complicates the whole mess. How is one supposed to act when they don't even know where the moral compass is supposed to be pointed?

Of course, I hit the big ones, Nihilism, Utilitarianism, Pragmatism, Existentialism. That last one eventually got my close enough to make the leap to where I'm currently sitting on my whole “theory of everything” idea: Absurdism. That's to say that meaning is absurd, none of this means fuck all, and what's the point of trying to find a place in a universe that is so very indifferent to my very existence?

That complicates just about everything else, morally speaking, except for Stoicism. I hate what Ryan Holliday and Tim Ferris have turned the philosophy into, but it's roots are still strong. My sphere of control is so infuriatingly small, that all I can really focus on is that. Anything else would be...well, absurd.


It's been a day of pushing back against the decay surrounding me. I've been fighting losing battles all day, with strangers and with myself. Overall, this destructive behavior is the first of its kind in a little bit, so I'm happy for that. It still doesn't feel great taking a back seat to my own anger and frustration with the world.

What's the point, anyway? All I gain from it is more anger. It's one of the stronger feedback loops I've not been able to divorce myself from.

So here's the thing 1/?

Family has never been terribly important to me. It's been something that has happened in the background, like white noise. As soon as I was able to move away from my family, I did. I stayed at a safe distance just so I could crawl back if and when I failed, for sure, but that was pretty much the end of it. My grandmother was a prophet in that she knew I would leave and hardly ever look back. I lied through my teeth at the time and swore that I would always stick around.

It's hard for me to talk to my family. Nothing wrong with them other than them overall liking themselves. At least on my dad's side. And now, with my grandmother gone, my dad is all I have left to tie me to that part of my life. My mom is chasing her own happiness, and more power to her, but my dad has been dropped into a place where he'll eventually realize he has no direct purpose anymore. For the longest time it was to care for his family. Now, hopefully, I'll be able to convince him that this means moving closer us, letting go of the old chapters in his life, and trying to enjoy what's left of the world before it falls apart.

I get the irony here. I never gave a shit until it is largely too late. Clear as day, honestly. But, hindsight and all that. And I know it's being selfish, wanting him to uproot and move closer. I would be lying again if I didn't say this would make my life easier. But, at the same time, I can see from this distance that the only thing left for him there is more suffering.

You don't have enough...

Here we are again. The want, need even, to be productive and write something. An inspiration, some small bit of gumption, and absolutely nowhere to go with it. Folders full of ideas halfed baked or left out of the oven completely.

This has been part of my struggle with the oppression of purpose since as long as I can remember. I feel compelled to try to produce. I'm worthless as a consumer being that I hate it. Blind consumption is a cancer, and when I can manage it, I obstain completely. So that leaves me with trying to find something meaningful to consume or diving back into this idea that I, too, can be one of the producers.

I'm confident that one day I'll stumble around enough to make a complete something. One day I'll finish one of the multiple projects I've started and maybe send it out into the world. I don't have the patience or honestly the talent to will myself to grind out a novella or collection of anything on a consistent basis, though. More likely than not, I'll leave behind a trail of unfinished manuscripts for whoever is left that cares enough to sift through.

And that's okay. At least, that's what I'm working on teaching myself. There was once a time when I enjoyed writing just to write. I'd have an idea and I'd write until I got it out or got bored with it. But somewhere along the line I convinced myself that I could make a job out of it, and it became a true demon to wrestle with. This happens to so many people. They are told that they should monetize their hobbies, try to milk the things they enjoy for some scratch. Otherwise, what's the point, right?

It's 100% depressing that I can't seem to finish a story to any meaningful conclusion. I have a lot of ideas that I really like on paper, so to speak. But every time I try to work on them, I get frustrated because I stall, as part of the process, and fall back into the loop of You don't have enough to make this work. It's a conditioning that is proving very difficult to overcome.

Internal Monologues

I have a running script in my head that repeats between 3 and 5 phrases every. single. day. A lot of the times, I can catch them before they start spooling out in between my ears, but sometimes they get a head start. And when they do, it's all over.

“What is you purpose?”

“So here's the thing...”

These two are the most frequent. I find myself clawing at the edge of my sanity for some sliver of hope, some glimmer of a reason to stand up straighter and do a better job at existing. Sometimes I find what looks like a thread a pull at it until I find out that it's only a piece of hair with a turd on the end of it.

But around and around it goes, these little snippets that frame my entire day. How am I supposed to enjoy the drive to work if all I can think about is how I'm a failed writer? How do I look at the world with any level of stoic indifference when I have been conditioned to try to find myself on top of it? Where is the reprieve from my own insistence of meaning?

It's never ending, and I want to use this space in part as a landfill of sorts, dumping what I can of these scripts here so they might be rid of me.

I'm losing my grandmother. She is dying from an infection that hasn't been treated for years, apparently. She has been ready to die for as far back as my recent memory will search. I thought I was ready for her to go as well.

She raised me, as much if not more so than my parents. I think I learned more from her because she was so much more interesting than anyone else in my family. She let me smoke medicinal herbs when I was ten. She taught me how to shoot a rifle. She had so many fascinating stories to tell. I wish I had listened to more of them. She is the link to a heritage and community that I never knew I was interested in until just recently. That link is almost broken. It will be completely, soon.

My grandmother is dying, and with her, a part of myself.