Suffering from a Lack of Life

January 12, 2015 (Mon)

KZ

5


20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge (2015)
Day 6: “What is ‘Chill’ and How Do I Do It?”


 

savage_chickens_existential_gps

Often times when I’m alone with my own thoughts, I find it hard to relax and just enjoy my free time without feeling guilty that I’m not doing something more constructive with my life. It must be residual guilt from my younger days as a student or something.

Don’t get me wrong, I find plenty of time to waste my time. I play an excess of video games, I watch hours of YouTube, I shop online for deals on paintball gear, and I browse Reddit like it’s a second job. There are plenty of things I enjoy doing when I find some quiet time, but they all inspire this pervasive sense of guilt within me for not doing more with my life.

Sometimes the guilt becomes so great that I start believing the only way to scratch this existential itch is to do something creative and grand like writing a novel. But each time I try to write one, I agonize over numerous consecutive nights until I inevitably conclude that I’m just no good at fiction. I am a proficient communicator of thoughts, but I’m not a very good storyteller. So I guess that leaves me with blog entries as my creative outlet. To tell you the truth, though, blogging isn’t as fulfilling as it used to be. So where does that really leave me?

I enjoy my free time as much as I can by keeping myself entertained. Every now and then, I feel a pang of guilt, and I try to silence my stray conscience by pretending I care about something greater than the mundane trappings of survival and comfort. But then something sets in — whether you call it despair, or indifference — and I revert back to the behavior that brings me comfort and amusement in the moment, but always guilt and feelings of obligation in the long term.

Perhaps philosophy professor Louis Mackey said it best during his appearance in the 2001 movie, Waking Life:

The realm of the real spirit, the true artist, the saint, the philosopher, is rarely achieved.

Why so few? Why is world history and evolution not stories of progress, but rather this endless and futile addition of zeroes? No greater values have developed. Hell, the Greeks 3,000 years ago were just as advanced as we are. So what are these barriers that keep people from reaching anywhere near their real potential? The answer to that can be found in another question, and that’s this: Which is the most universal human characteristic — fear or laziness?

 

20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge (2015)
Another painful exercise in forced inspiration brought to you by
A ‘lil Hoohaa

5 Comments

  1. Linda          
    January 12, 2015 at 2:21 pm Reply

    Chilling out is not always as easy as one would think. I recognize the feelings of guilt at not being productive. I guess there is a difference between relaxing and wasting time. Truly relaxing should make us feel good.

  2. Katherine          
    January 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm Reply

    Honestly, why DO we feel guilty just relaxing. It is so healthy and yet we feel we have to go go go!

  3. P.J.          
    January 13, 2015 at 9:22 am Reply

    Ok, so any way you chill and entertain yourself, you should feel fine. No need for guilt. Next time you do, ask your wife to shoot you with a paintball gun. That should show you that it's all good! Or go for a walk and buy a donut. Now that's chill. :)

  4. Jacob Booom          
    April 10, 2016 at 8:16 am Reply

    what video games do you play?

  5. Jacob Booom          
    April 10, 2016 at 8:20 am Reply

    Want to work on a paintball creative writing collab of some sort?

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