existential crisis: a moment at which an individual questions the very foundations of their life: whether their life has any meaning, purpose or value.
This all started yesterday. I went to a meeting with my advisor who so kindly told me that my thesis course was moved to senior year and I could study abroad for a year. I immediately called my dad explaining the news and he so kindly stated that it was 110% a definite possibility if we sat down and had a serious conversation about. I was thrilled, after all I never actually wanted to go to college. College was forced upon me by my parents who told me my senior year that traveling the world and not getting a degree could never be an option. I finally had the opportunity to really do what I believed was the meaning of my life.
After coming in my room and eagerly explaining to my roommate this new opportunity I called my Mom to announce the big news. This is were the crisis began.
The phone call lasted 6 minutes and consisted of her describing all these different scenarios.It started off gentle. “You are going to miss out on a lot of family activities and holidays. That’s a long time to be away from home. You’re only in college once you should want to be on your campus all the time.” It then exceeded to guilting me into not going.”It is going to be too expensive. Your school is too expensive you will need to transfer to a cheaper school your senior year. You couldn’t last the first three weeks of freshman year without calling me crying.” Let it be known I was breaking up with my boyfriend who went back to France and my roommate went home every weekend. My favorite was “if you want to study abroad for a year why don’t you just attend school there full time.” Uh hello Mom, I wanted to applied to British universities my senior year but you shot that down. You can see why the phone call only lasted 6 minutes. The positive armor in my mind began to crack.
Flash forward to 4:50pm today. I just turned in my politics final that I spent hours studying. The questions were worded oddly and I definitely wasn’t confident but I was sure I pulled at least an 80. 4:51pm. My score comes back as a 65. The positive armor was now shattered. All that was left was a defenseless mind in a wicked world.
My life meaning was practically taken away from me and the academic activity that I was supposed to be succeeding at was getting further and further away.
I called my friend Hannah and just rambled on and on about how unfair the exam was, how frustrated I was at my mom and how I genuinely had no clue what I would be doing with my life. She temporarily soothed my mind, disclosing to me that she felt the same, lost and not sure what direction she should go in. The problem was that the minute the phone call ended the distraction and stimulation was gone and I was left alone.
As I floated through dinner lost in my head, the world continued on without me. My roommates laughed about their last class of the year and the cafeteria was a busy as ever. We came back to the room and I laid in my bed, closing my eyes and focused on my breathing. My thoughts still wandered to the dooming question looming at the back of my mind. What is my life purpose.
6:30pm came and my roommates and I worked out, focusing on our upper body. I threw punches, imagining that my fists were hitting my professor, my mom, the world. By the end of the work out I felt untouchable.
It is now 9:48pm. I am not out of my existential crisis. I am in the eye of the storm, watching my life’s purpose unfold around me. Watching. Waiting. Breathing In. Breathing Out.