Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Absurdity of life

In my previous post, a reader pointed out that my emotional mood swings sounds like the definition of 'Borderline'. I have observed other people to be of borderline personality, but never consider myself to have borderline tendencies. In my "defense", I blame my education to cause me to become this way.

The thing is, after realizing the world has always been a hugely unfair place, that hard work does not always get rewarded, that people who are the most eager to give you advice on life lessons tend to know less than the people who keep their silence, that successful people seem to possess a truckload of tricks and strategies that I have never come across in my life before (since these skills are not taught in school or written in textbooks), that it's my own fault that I buried my head in books for decades and didn't bother to lift my head and take a good look at the rest of the world, I am still buried under my strict expectations my minimal definition of how life should be for a hardworking woman in her 30s.

At this point I should just admit that I got the rules of the game of life all wrong. I wagered all my attention, brain resources, and youth on studying; I put little effort into interpersonal relationships, not with friends, family, or the opposite sex. This blinder approach got me tremendously off track.

So now that I am completely off the expected track (due to a lifetime of hardcore studying and many weekends put to unpaid work and a good amount of volunteer work): mid-30s, no marriageable partner, no stable job, shitty career path, few friends in the city where I live, no family around, pretty much nothing to show for my hard work because none of my friends and family understand or care about what it is I work on, of course I am feeling quite desperate and borderline.

The alternative, which I hadn't considered lately, as mentioned in Zee's blog, is that life is empty and meaningless anyways. I should stop taking myself so seriously and just laugh at the whole absurdity of it all. Look at the situation in Crimea. Look at climate change. Economic booms and busts. Entertainment, processed food, and pharmaceutical industries being super dominant in the world. Hedge funds. Banking crisis. Anusara yoga (lol). WhatsApp worth 19 billion US dollars. Priorities all f***ed up. Yet we teach our children to be honest, moral, diligent and they shall succeed?

I should just be happy I have enough money to feed myself today. Marriage? Forget about it. Friends? Most are not dependable anyways (as I have learned over the years). Family? Their absurdities make funny party stories I guess.

Maybe I should stop worrying about how to get back on track (I'm too far off the mainstream path to get back on it anyways) and just appreciate the funny parts of life more from now on.


  1. Yes, laugh !!! Sometimes we can not change our circumstances but we can change our attitude towards them. We should laugh knowing perfectly that our laugher is useless... so what?

    We might want to escape and live outside society, somewhere in monastery or Himalayas ;) or we can stay right here where we are and just laugh at the whole thing. How funny our life is, we think, how terrible, how ironical, but at the same time this is so funny.

    Here in Canada , and in Sweden (I lived there for 14 months), people usually don't laugh unless you're being rude or cynical. People here have very crude sense of humour. They don't laugh just from seeing the stupidities of our situations. You have to see THAT. When you laugh, do not make fun of yourself or other people. I am not talking about that kind of humor. I'm talking about basic delight.

    Be delightful, enjoy everyday in small things and just laugh...

    1. Hi Zee, you're right that people here tend to laugh at very cynical jokes. I thought I escaped that after high school but now back to this again. I think people laugh at the time but the practice actually makes them more cynical. There's this bad after taste in the mouth. I will try to remember your advice whenever I'm feeling cynical myself. Thanks!

  2. Once upon a time there was a guy who enjoyed his life. He was in early 30's, he had a nice BMW and he was going out every night with different girls. He had his own company for office repairs and he worked 3-4 hours a day, just to cover his expenses. He enjoyed his life immensely.

    His mother was worried for him, Whenever she saw him she used to tell him - My son, you have to be married by now. You need to have children. My son, who will look after you when you are old? Who will bring you a glass of water on your death-bed.

    Slowly, bit by bit, mother's words started coming to man's mind especially the sentence about glass of water on his death-bed. So he finally found the right girl and got married. He stopped going out every day. Now he enjoyed the company of his wife.

    After one year his wife gave birth to a baby boy. After the second year of marriage he got a baby girl. Now he start working full hours. He needed money to support family. He stopped going out completely. Their house become small for the new family so he bought a bigger house. He got enormous mortgage to pay off so he worked like a donkey. He sold his BMW and bought a minivan And he always remembered that question - Who will bring him a glass of water on his death-bed?

    Years were passing, he become older and older. He knew only for work and more work. Vaguely he remembers his old days with nostalgia and sigh. In meantime he got grandchildren. The years were passing quickly. He became an old, tired and disappointed man.

    And one day he was laying in the bed for the last few hours before his death. He is surrounded with his family, the son, daughter, grandsons and granddaughters. Everyone was around him. In his last moments he was thinking about his life and he said: Fuck, I am not even thirsty.

    1. Hi Zee, I have to say this story is kind of cynical in itself. But I get what you're saying. I shouldn't just follow other people's ideas of a good life and should instead live according to my own values and ideals. I would feel better (or at least take responsibility for my own choices) even if I fail completely.

  3. Hi Yogini,

    I want to compete with Zee's story by my own one : see the second comment on this post

    It's a [cynical and tautological] joke with respect to [human condition]. When I say tautological, it means that whenever you repeat that joke, you'll laugh as much as the 1st time ... Because it's always true, always funny, never "old-fashioned".

    As the human condition is timeless (needy for sex, programmed to reproduce and take care of our children, always questioning on the meaning of life and the apparent absurdity) .. Well, this joke is always funny.

    I explained how I see the "meaning of life" : see the comments in this article :
    and also this :

    What do ya think about my thesis on the meaning of life ?


    1. Hi Tony, I think your thesis may work for you, but everyone can have their own thesis on the meaning of life. I'm not sure if the purpose of life is just to procreate. I mean that's what happens and what a lot of people want since childhood (or are socialized to want it), but I think life is what we make it to be, at least for those of us who have the freedom to do so. For me what I want out of life keeps changing; I am socialized by the Eastern society to want certain things, and by the western society to follow a different set of values. The two set of values are conflicting. So I am struggling to figure out what I want for myself. It's not an easy thing to do.

  4. Hi Yogini,

    The thesis is not meant to be individual ... It's a general theory which can fit to the overall humanity at any time (primitive man to modern man). Don't see how it fits for you or me or some specific individual. So, the questions which must be asked while reading it is : "what's common to every person, at all time ?"

    Otherwise, I lived for 7 years in India (Andhra Pradesh). My parents are 100% Indians. What you say about different set of values is highly interesting for the individual specific person (myself). It may not be as interesting to humanity on the whole ;-)

    What is common to humanity on the whole ? Reproduction ! From age 15 to age 45 : getting the opposite sex, making children. May be 10% or more are not involved in reproduction, but on the whole, the main point seems to be that. Under 15 you're are not sufficiently developed and after 45, it's like sun dawn. The main part of one's life is gravitating around the most important "function".

    Don't center life on a specific person (which could be yourself), when tackling the meaning of life. ;-)

    Other thing I wanted to say : the outside people are interested in their own petty problems ... If you go at a deeper level regarding introspection on yourself without asking yourself : what could interest people coming to my blog ? Or, If you try to read your blog as someone exterior ... What could the person be thinking about you ?


    1. Hi Tony, it is true that reproduction is the fundamental commonality to all organisms, from virus to bacteria to plants to insects to animals to humans. However, I do not plan to reproduce in my lifetime (modern human individuals are the only organisms on this planet capable of choosing that for themselves without the species dying out as a whole), which means I need to search for other purposes to life for myself.


  5. read this paragraph ...
    ... and if interested, the whole book ;-)

  6. Life enters us with our first inhalation and leaves us with our final exhalation. It is truly our life force. Yet it is so natural and automatic that most people take it for granted and have never given it a second thought.

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