On existential angst.

I’m a 24 year old man. I haven’t been in a serious relationship in 5 years and apart from a handful of one night stands, I have not initiated any sort of sexual relationship in that time.

I have dropped out of three college degrees, one in a prestigious school. Every one of them was in a subject I had a great interest in initially. They are all still things I follow but in a less stringent, more dilletantish, manner.

I don’t believe in any sort of meaning or importance to life. Not since I was a child. Furthermore, my own existence means almost nothing to me. Which is both liberating and terrifying.

Reading this back, I suppose the obvious question might be why don’t I kill myself. Well, I don’t think I could. There are a small, faithful group of family and friends who love me. A friend of mine, many years ago, confided in me (with a level of detail that pains me still) that he wanted to die and how he would do it. I never want to make anyone feel like that did.

I’m not sure what advice I’m looking for. “I can’t go on … I’ll go on” seems to be it.  I’m not medicated and I don’t really want to be. I’m not convinced that waiting for the people who care about me to die first is a great idea either.

I guess I’d just like a sober, critical eye to tell me what is what.

A man at twenty-four? Don’t get ahead of yourself, big guy. It sounds like you still fit squarely into the boy category. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with an extended adolescence, but that may be the very thing causing the problem.

You’ve got no real responsibilities, no reason to get up in the morning, no fire in your belly. It’s not that you’re depressed. You’re just bored and well educated enough to wallow in existential angst.

If you wore high collars and drank things like absinthe, one might just say you were suffering from ennui. I don’t know. That shit requires style points, and I can’t tell if you qualify.

Tell you what. How about you quit your day job and hop on the next flight to Haiti. Spend the rest of 2010 helping rebuild. If that idea has too much hair on its balls, then scale it back until you’re comfortable.

At the very least, how about you change up your game by volunteering at homeless shelters, children’s hospitals, or whatever you’ve got nearby.

Do something good. Serve a purpose. Help your fellow man. Trust me. It’ll make you feel better than that medication you don’t need anyway.


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