Stop the world I want to get off...

I’m having an evening / month where I feel like nothing makes sense (yet everything is going well). It’s more of an existential dilemma. I just think of all the shit swirling around us as a race. Racism, inequality, war, poverty, daily stresses of life, my car fucking me over again, the bitter cold of winter, global warming…and I really just want to take a break from life somehow and readjust myself. The rat race of life really can jade a person and make them lose direction.

How do people deal with this?

Live on.

The alternative simply sucks.

Chin up.

So, I don’t know if this will help, but I’m one of those people who can get really caught up in the trappings of achievement and success and worrying about making a good impression and being financially stable and all of that. I drive myself nuts with it sometimes. I also worry a great deal about the world’s evils, and as a social work student I’m pretty much learning more and more about them every day and there is so much suffering it can be really overwhelming.

Well, it’s been one of those times where the pressure has really been on–lots of school assignments due, huge time commitments, and all these questions about where I’m going in life and whether or not I will succeed at changing the world.

I recently started working at an internship at a nursing and rehabilitation facility, and my supervisor went on vacation and left me with all this stuff to do. One of my jobs was to collect some basic demographic/background info on a new admission as well as administer a mini-mental state exam. Pretty straightforward, but I had never done this before, I was really nervous about doing it ‘‘right.’’

But I sat down with this elderly man, who was wheelchair-bound, and just started asking him questions about himself. And his whole demeanor changed, he was just so happy to have someone to talk to. And then the nurse brought us both ice cream sundaes and I just took down the information and put on his glasses for him when he had to sign some paperwork (his hand was in a cast.) But I wasn’t just asking him questions, you know, I was getting to know him and he told me he’d been so lonely and he was so grateful for the visit.

Like, it’s the smallest little thing, eating ice cream with some guy and helping him put on his glasses, but it made my whole day because he made it clear that I made his whole day. In that moment all that other stuff just seemed like it didn’t matter as much. Like I can write 50 research papers and ace all my classes and none of it would really touch the level of satisfaction I achieved in that moment.

I think if we can look in our lives for opportunities to create these moments where we touch other people, even if it’s just a little thing, we’re all going to be okay.

Irish whiskey.


Make the world go away

And get it off of my shoulders

Say the things you used to day

And make the world go away.

Sung by Eddy Arnold, written by Hank Cochran

It is a feeling from before written time.

Do you have any hobbies, Quasi? Sometimes taking a short break (or even setting aside an entire day) to go and do your hobby can be very rewarding.

A walk outside does wonders for me.

Several years ago, I ran into the sister of one of my old classmates and their grandmother (names changed of course). Marcia greeted me happily and said “grandma, this is the girl who taught Delores and me how to read!” and then the grandma tried to get down on her knees and kiss my hands, while half of me was trying to stop her and the other half looked for a suitable hole to hide in.

Once Grandma was back on a vertical position, I said “but I never taught you or anybody how to read, I just helped Delores a bit when we were in kindergarten-1!” Way back when, during those ancient times in which maps’ edges still said “here be dragons” and nobody had heard of “dyslexia,” our kindergarten teacher had set those of us who could read to help the ones who could make head nor tail of it. I’d helped Delores and Delores had explained my “tricks” to Marcia, who is only one year older. They are the only people in their family, for their generation and above, who can read properly; even so, Marcia says that the most important “trick” was knowing that if a text doesn’t make sense it’s probably because you’re misreading something, that it’s ok to ask for help (this has been made much easier by the fact that now everybody has heard of that “dyslexia” thing) and that anybody who laughs at you when you ask for help that you need is a donkey’s buttdropings (apparently my 4yo self’s words are still remembered literally). They handle any paperwork for all their relatives, they’ve even got power of attorney for their other siblings.

Sometimes what you thought was a small labor (finding out what Delores’ problem was, then teaching her how to tell apart those letters she’s confused by) has enormous consequences. I believe that if we do our best, it always inevitably improves things for someone, but we may never learn how. Of course there’s people who think those of us who try for our best are morons, but they always sound so tired, you know?

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

If you’re not religious just replace “God” with “Someone” or “Goddammit!” :smiley:


Oh things actually are great. I have a job and a girlfriend. I am doing well. But as I sit here and do all my report cards I have time to think, and I sometimes I just think, what’s the point of it all?

There is no point, in any tangible sense. Just live your life the best you can, and appreciate the joy whenever it bubbles to the surface.

ZipperJJ, I like that passage. Upon Googling it, I see it’s quite a popular prayer, but I’d never seen it before today. It’s very similar to the sentiment that my mother has desperately tried to instill in me through my “angsty” years, but in a pretty four line package.

My favorite is “My guard stood hard when abstract threats, too noble to neglect, deceived me into thinking I had something to protect”. This is from “My Back Pages” by Bob Dylan. Every time I start to get wrapped up in something bigger than myself, I recite this line.

There are so many abstract concepts ranging from politics to theism that people argue about incessantly in an attempt to give themselves meaning. We spend so much time arguing about heaven and hell and the morality of faith and lack thereof that we forget that it has just about zero bearing on our day to day lives. We’ll spend countless hours obsessing over the best ways to deter and avoid terrorism domestically, when 99.999% (no, I don’t have a cite for this) will never be a victim of terrorism. And we’ll all call for the beheading of Don Imus and Michael Richards while we still secretly laugh at our friend’s racist jokes, simply because it really is not a big deal.

We pretend to worry about these things because we know they’re too big to fix. It’s because people are afraid of failing themselves. If you try to change youself and fail, then you’ve let yourself down. If you rant on internet message boards about some jackasses in Derpootchistan and they’re still in power a year later, you can console yourself by saying you were too small and there were just too many people who didn’t agree with your viewpoint. It’s the “world’s” fault, not your own. But the things that DO matter are the things YOU have control over - your own personal conquest.

So, my recommendation to you would be to totally immerse yourself in your own life. Don’t worry about the problems of others - that’s not your burden to bear. Help people when you can, and most of all, help yourself in every way possible. Make it your personal mission to achieve harmony with yourself. Be the king of your own domain instead of a critic of everyone else’s. Make it so it seems like the sun shines for you when you wake up in the morning. That’s the way a three year old thinks and I don’t see very many bitter, jaded 3 year olds running around.

One of my favorite philosophers, Viktor Frankl, said that what matters isn’t the meaning of a man’s life in general, but the meaning of his life at any given moment. What that meaning is going to be, of course, is entirely at your discretion, but my point is, it doesn’t have to be fixed. Find a purpose for every second and it will be okay.

Ahh, in times like these, I like to crank the Foo…

*I am a new day rising
I’m a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
Do I stay or run away
And leave it all behind?

It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again*

There is no meaning. Just be proud and happy and grateful for every breath you take.

My serious answer is- religion/spirituality/faith. That’s what gets me through a lot.

But if you don’t go for that, my next best answer is-

“Point? There is no point! That’s the beauty of it!”

As long as we’re quoting Leslie Bricusse…

“In the evening of my life I shall look to the sunset,
At a moment in my life when the night is due.
And the question I shall ask only I can answer.
Was I brave and strong and true?
Did I fill the world with love my whole life through?”

Lets see, I’ve been unemployed for over a year, found out the woman I loved most still loves me but has sacrificed herself to a loveless marriage for the sake of her children. I’ve had to replace the gas and water lines to my house to the tune of $3,500 and age/health have restricted me from utilizing all of my skill sets to earn money. If I could fully utilize those skills it would involve the housing market which is shit. My beloved sports car was FUBAR’d by a now out-of-business company that was building it. It’s a big pile of parts I now have to sell. Soooooooo… You get one of these :dubious:

You ask how other people deal with existential crap… its easy. If you are not promoting the problems of the world then you are probably encouraging the opposite in your daily life. You affect all the people around you in this respect. That’s the point of it all. You make a difference when the people you interact with improve their lives because of your efforts. If you haven’t noticed, the general path of Mankind has been on an upward slope.

Global warming has taken a decade off so maybe the computer models are not as dire as the people selling books would lead you to believe. This means you can cozy up to an occasional fire in the cold of winter and share a warm thought with the person you love. You can also romp in the fall foliage and enjoy the sweet smell of the fallen leaves.

If you are truly depressed then go to a doctor.

If you’re bored, get a hobby.

If this is all about your job then there’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar. Drew Carey.

Sleep for 50% of the day, then spend the rest of the day watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After Buffy find another TV show.

Never mind. Wrong Quasi.