I’ve been wanting to die lately.
I always want to die, of course, but especially lately.
It is interesting. I think about dying on a regular basis. I know how I would want to die, if I actually wanted to die, but it seems lately that I don’t actually want to die. Dying is just a thought that occurs to me. It passes, like other thoughts, and I continue to live my life until the thought of dying passes by me again. But, now, I am in another moment where I want to die. But I am writing about wanting to die, so I already know that I am not going to follow through with it. Dying would actually require the effort of dying. And, seeing as though there are very few things I can will myself to put energy into, it seems that I am not going to die today. Because I can’t be bothered to.
My thoughts of dying have been occurring more than usual lately. Of course, there are plenty of moments when I thought about dying more than I think about dying at this moment. But I would say that this is a relative high, in terms of my thoughts about dying. I thought about dying for quite a bit last semester, and I probably thought about dying more last semester than I do now during the summer. But, for some reason, I never felt the need about writing about wanting to die then. I wonder why. I’m actually experiencing a mellow desire for death compared to last semester, but I somehow have more of a need to write about it. Perhaps it stacks up, slowly, like the piling of Jenga blocks against each other until one wooden block collapses the entire tower.
It is summer. I used to think that it was the summer that brought out a happier side of my personality. I believed this so much that I would tell people that I was a different person over the summer. Now, I realized that this is an example of omitted variable bias. It is the summer now, and I am certainly not any happier than I had been in the spring. It is not the season that has affected me moods. I thought it was, but it is not. It is just by coincidence that most of my romantic encounters happened during the summer. It is just by coincidence that the seasons change along with my romantic partners. And, now, since the only love I have felt is from the indifference of the universe, I tend to also feel alienated.
I had relied on the summer coming to ease some of my intense sadness. But, as of late, it seems that this resolution is not destined to happen. Summer is not my salvation. Summer has never been my salvation. Just now, from a walk back from my friend’s flat in East Village, I understand that the summer itself has nothing to do with my feelings of happiness. There were so many happy people on my walk back. I don’t like the sight of happy people, especially when I am sad. The sight of happy people just reminds me that there really are happy people in the world. Even though I have only experienced sadness for some time, my view of the world is not the universal view of the world. There really are happy people out there. I don’t like thinking about it.
I was sad, so naturally, I was also listening to Lana Del Rey. Only Lana Del Rey can redeem my feelings as something that is beautiful. Otherwise, I am just being sad for no purpose other than to be sad. Seeing as though being sad does not feel very good, I sometimes don’t really want to be sad. But, of course, sadness is never a choice, and I end up sad anyways. Because, of course, I am sad. Of course, when I see happy people, I become sad. I am weird like that. I am so, so weird. I never understood why anybody would ever want to talk to me, much less actively want to be around me. But it is one of those mysteries of the universe that I have accepted, along with crop circles and the pyramids. Perhaps it was aliens that brought my sadness.
There was one song that popped up that captured much of my feelings. It is not that relevant, if I were to actually close-read the lyrics. But, at that moment, the song made sense to me. Before, I never quite understood what Lana meant when she referred the “lust for life” as the force “keep[ing] [her] alive” in the chorus to her title track of her album, Lust for Life. The choice of ‘lust’ had intrigued me when I had initially listened to the song. Lust, after all, refers to a physical sensation to gratify sexual desire. Sex is just one part of living, so how could a connotation of sexual desire be equated for the desire to live? I didn’t get it. But, right now, at this moment, I get it.
When I was in approaching the end of senior year of high school, as the weird kid that I was and still am, I kept on asking people to tell me the meaning of life. It is a stupid question, and I was a stupid kid. The meaning of life, after all, is not an idea that can be expressed through a means as imperfect as dialogue nor does a structure of a conversation do justice to individual sentiment. But, it is a question that continued to follow me as I continue to create new connections and understand their take on the meaning of life. But, within the three years that have passed by since my senior of high school and now, I think I finally understand the meaning of life. At least, what the meaning of life actually refers to.
The term meaning of life is linguistically flawed in many aspects. First of all, it implies that life has a meaning, which has been the subject of debate in quite a long period in literature and philosophy now. If I have felt anything in the past three years, it is the absence of meaning that life I have felt. The silence of the void. The indifference of the universe. Whatever you want to call it. The ability to perceive meaning is felt, which is, of course, an imperfect medium in assessing an idea that is supposedly objective. But, like most things in life, it does not have to be an objective statement of truth. Meaning is, inevitably, informed by past individual experiences, and because past experiences inform perceptions of meaning, then meaning is ultimately subjective by nature.
So, when I refer to meaning, in truth, it is just my meaning that I have been able to parse together within these past couple of years. It is the only thing real that I have felt in my otherwise meaningless existence. It is the only thing continues to drive me to convince me that life is worth living. Because, isn’t that all that meaning is — a justification to live?
And, seeing is that I want to die, a lot, I tend to think about why I still want to live quite a bit. After all, each question of dying is met with an implicit answer. Even if I do not reason out the exact rational for which I want to live, the answer is still implicit in my subconscious. I choose to not die because, for some reason, I still have a reason to live, which means that there is at least some facet of my life that I find meaningful, whatever that would mean. It seems to mean that I have found a part of my life that is meaningful, in theory, but there is no part of my conscious thought that would indicate so. Every string of thought seems to indicate that I do not find life meaningful, that I am ready to die. But, for some reason, I still choose to live.
I like coffee. I still drink my coffee. I still live.
Even if the answer to the question Why life? is a resounding silence, there seems to be some instinct in me that continues to will myself to live. But, where is the basis of such an instinct? All instinct, especially behavioral instincts, have origins. So where is the origin of my instinct to continue living? Was there some part in my life, perhaps in the distant past, that convinced me that life was worth living? And, if that were true, has all my life been since then just a continuance of the justification that I had forged some distant years in my past? The thought goes: Why life? Why not life? Why not, not life? And, so it goes. It is the question that questions more than it answers.
I look back in my past and remember the sensation of being in love. I miss the sensation of being in love. It seems that the only time that feel truly alive is during the times that I had been in love. It was the only time in my life when I did not think about dying. Especially during sex. I don’t think about dying when I am having sex. Or cuddling. I don’t think about dying when I am cuddling either. Only with people I love though. Sex with people I don’t love always leads to intense feelings of wanting to die. Cuddling with people I don’t love leads to even intenser feelings of wanting to die. But, in those short moments when I found myself in love, I remember the feeling of wanting to live.
Seeing as I am not in love at the moment, I no longer have the desire to live. It is just an instinct at this point. Sometimes, when I walk the streets of Manhattan, I question whether I am walking at all. It seems more appropriate to say that the streets pass by me than it would to say that I am walking through the streets. I am moving, but the world moves past me faster than any movement than I could muster. I am the snake in the ground. The world is the contorting wind that shapes me into its image. I no longer am the object of my self, and the world re-creates me in the image of its indifference. Only through the act of loving can I escape the grasp of the world. Because, without being in love, I am just slowly calcifying at the thunderous palm of the universe. Slowly, become stone. Slowly, becoming less than I was before. Slowly, dying.
Seeing the smiles of strangers would simultaneously incept feelings of envy and disgust. But, despite feeling a feeling of repulsion towards the world, even my own emotions do not feel real. That would require feeling alive. Feelings belong to the living. I am alive, of course, technically, but I suppose this is a matter of identification. I do not identify with being alive, despite being alive, because I have always thought of being alive to be more than simply having a pulse and prefrontal cortex activity. Since I do not identify with being alive, I also do not identify with facets of being alive, like feelings. I do not identify with feelings, even if I am feeling my feelings. My feelings are my feelings, but my feelings are also not my feelings. They are mine. They are not mine. They are mine. I do not accept that which is mine.
I ask myself, what is my drive to live?
When I had been a child, I was driven by earning good grades and improving at violin. When I had entered adolescence, I was driven by the desire to be admitted to a prestigious university. It seems as if all those goals were lifetimes ago. There is very little that I want from my life anymore. The resting state of my life had always been a state of indifference. I have been wandering in this world for some time now. I drift with very little substance to cling onto. Sometimes, an accomplishment would happen to me within a sea of failures that would allow me to experience the gratitude of existence for a moment. I would feel appreciative… and then, the same problems that had bothered me my entire life would come back: the loneliness, the inadequacy, the emptiness. It would seem that the sole time in my life that I consistently feel the full spectrum of life’s fulfillment is being in love.
There is very little in my life that happens when I am not in love. I go from one state of being in love to another state of being in love. There is very little substance that exists in between. Most of the time that I am not in love is dedicated towards reminiscing the times that I was in love. It is a transitory state dedicated towards the remembrance of the previous state or the realization of the next state. Between the two moments in time of being in love, it is a perpetual wait. I cannot force love. Love does not accept being forced. I continue to wait for love to happen to me. Will love ever choose me once again? Defaulting to the same principles of indifference that have defined every other facet of my life, I wait to feel alive once again.
I wonder how much of my life is just waiting for love. I am waiting for love to choose me. I don’t want to want to die. It is just a feeling. It is not just a feeling. It is not a feeling. I don’t want to die. I want to die. I want to love.