Lately, I’ve been wondering if I am a misanthrope.
I am not getting along with people. I don’t remember there ever being a time in my life where I got along with people. It always seems as though I am the outsider pretending to belong in a world of beautiful people. Here I am, living in New York for the summer in a sea of existences, wondering why it seems that I dislike everyone that I come into contact with. It seems that this has been my way of life for so long. It has been so long that I have even begun to rationalize my own distaste of humanity to myself. There are a variety of excuses that I use to explain the repulsion I feel from the schism. Most of the time, I say that I cannot connect with individuals who do not experience sadness in the same way that I do on a regular basis. It is what I have been telling myself all of this time. But, as I just got back to my desk from a team meeting with the other interns, I cannot help but to realize: it is I who is the problem and not them. I am the other. The problem is me. The problem has always been me.
It is not that they are not like me; it is that I am not like them.
For so long, I have held onto the Nietzschian view that the hero is an outsider. It was a viewpoint that I have acquired long after my Nietzsche phase in high school, but it is a view that has allowed me to justify my lifestyle for so long. It is not that I look up to Nietzsche. I would hate to experience the life that he had — being rejected by his peers after becoming the youngest tenured professor at his university. Although I have a fantasy of doing so, I do not actually believe that I want to move into the mountains and spend most of the prime of my life writing my philosophies alone in the company of nature. I would hate to be rejected in love in the sheer amount of time that he has throughout his life. I do not want to experience a mental breakdown after releasing the dammed torrent of universal cruelty and die in the care of my mother.
I do not want to be Nietzsche. I am not Nietzsche, I believe. There are many aspects of my life that seem to allow me to have a more optimistic view on the world. I have the literary tradition of existentialism to articulate most of my feelings of alienation, which is much more than he had. In that regard, I have been able to reconcile some of my angst with gratitude. But, even so, it feels as though my entire existence propels me towards his ideal of the hero being the outsider. I live in a society that privileges happiness. So, as a sad person, how am I supposed to thrive in such a society except as an outsider?
Among my friends, I feel comfortable most of the time. Even among my happy friends. The corporate world, however, is not as sensitive towards my feelings as my friends are. The corporate world is indifferent. The corporate world is an ideal as opposed to a response. Sadness does not exist in this space. It does not follow the ideal, and thus, it does not exist. The corporate world is not human. The corporate world has no room for emotions that are human. Among my friends, I act as true to myself as possible. In the corporate world, I act in accordance to an ideal. I exist as a projection of an ideal. The extent of my existence is another facet of an idea that is more real than me. It defies metaphysics. It has more power than me. It shapes and constructs. It creates.
Even merely being in this space negates my humanity. I degrade myself to an ideal. Especially because my humanity depends on my sadness, it does not fit within this sphere. That is, the corporate ideal… and so much of society is emulated from the corporate ideal. If the corporate ideal constructs a society around it that privileges happiness, then what am I supposed to be in this space? I attempt to emulate an ideal that is the antithesis to my being. As the seconds slowly pass, I become less and less of myself. I lose more than my personality but my very justification in being. I am less than myself. I lose the cause to my existence. I lose as it