eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Friday, February 4

My Search for Meaning

"One of the prisoners, who on his arrival marched with a long column of new inmates from the station to the camp, told me later that he had felt as though he were marching at his own funeral. His life had seemed to him absolutely without future. He regarded it as over and done, as if he had already died." p. 113 of Man's Search for Meaning

When I posted the quote a while back, I didn't know what to say about it. I've sometimes felt very much like that -- as if my life was absolutely without future and I was just waiting to die. No, I've never been in a prison camp nor have I been horribly abused either as an adult or as a child. My childhood wasn't exactly wonderful and there are things about it that some might consider "abuse", but there was plenty of good in it. I've definitely had some challenges and made mistakes, but thinking about it now, none of it seems to warrant such a bleak outlook.

The problem, I think, was feeling that I had no real choices. My parents were pretty strict and kept control over a lot of what I did. I clung to the idea that if I could just make it to be an adult, to be independent, things would get better. That thought kept me going and trying to prepare for the day when I'd finally be free.

Still, sometimes it felt like I'd never escape. I'd wish I didn't have to keep going. One day, I realized I didn't have to. It occurred to me to run away or commit suicide. It made me feel a bit better that I could just end things if I wanted to. I wondered how one made a decision like that. I don't think I was seriously tempted by the idea. I think it was more a feeling of curiosity and, in a way, a feeling of surprise that I DID have a choice, after all. I think it was curiosity and hope, if not optimism, that kept me going. I wanted to know what life would be like as an adult. I remembered that, though it seemed far away, the day would come when I would be "free" and wanted to have good grades, so I could go to college and have the best possible options available to me.

I didn't know much about what I would do at college or after that. I think it was hard for me to really imagine about. I worried that something horrible would happen to me before I got to be an adult. I'd die in a car or other freak accident and never get to experience freedom or making more of my own choices. I was tempted to try out a lot of the things other teenagers were doing - not because I thought I was invincible, but because I was afraid I'd die before life really got good. I didn't want to take any chances. At some point, about a year or so before I graduated, I started to feel that I would make it after all. I'd met a nice guy, the day of my freedom was nearing and my parents loosened up a bit. Finally, the day after graduation, I was up at 8am loading my stuff into trucks and moving out...

No comments: