It's banal. It's BORING.
April 17, 2023
I turn 60 on Saturday.
I’ve been depressed. I don’t like it. It frightens me. I know I’ll be OK, though. I push on, I push through, moment by moment. But I am anxious; I am fearful.
I feel like I’m hurling towards death. Time goes so quickly, everything is compressed. I’m racing to the end. I haven’t much time left to do the important things I want to do. I want to get it right. I want to do the things that maximize my contributions.
Second to that, I want to do the things that will get me to the biggest and most profound understanding. I chase after Wisdom. I have a hold of the hem of her cloak. I won’t let go. I can’t. But I cannot run fast enough. The chase has brought me much peace and much joy. So much that I am consumed wanting more.
The root of this quest is not selfish. I no longer sit at my laptop to write with the thought of monetizing my work. Writing itself is what drives me, not making money from writing.
I know full well what I have to share is not magical. There is nothing new. Nothing I have to say is more important or better said than what’s been said already. I do have a unique perspective in all of time and space, and yet that is true for all of us.
I do believe what I have to share may reach and touch someone in a way no one else is able to reach and touch them. I do believe my message has the potential to transform. I believe that may happen for even one person and if even for only one person, I’ve done what I set out to do. But I know it’s bigger than that already. My learnings have gone into the world, into people’s minds, into people’s hearts. What I have shared has resulted in meaningful change.
I make a difference. But it isn’t about me. It is - but it isn’t. It’s not so much that I matter. I do matter, but that growing sense of my own uniqueness, my own worthiness, is not what I’m after. It’s a consequence, an incredibly rewarding one, but it’s not my primary driver. What matters is that my unique contribution has made the world a minutely better place. Not just that I think it has, believe it has, but that it truly has.
I reread all of that and it sounds like a big fat rationalization. It sounds like EGO. And on top of those unflattering aspects, it’s a restatement of the same questions we all grapple with. It’s banal. It’s BORING.
The search for meaning and significance is the one thing I have in common with every other person who has ever existed. Why does it feel I’m the only one who’s going through this excruciatingly painful thing and that it’s completely novel and unique to my existence?
Why do I feel so alone?