Earlier today I was prompted to write about a moment from childhood. It was a time to reminisce and to reflect, but while other people were carefully crafting their narrative, I was left alone with my thoughts. I tried in vain to think of something, anything, to write about, but to no avail. I’ve long known that I’ve repressed most of my childhood, as I have very few memories (and even fewer fond ones), but I was surprised when I was assaulted with the realization that I’m equally good at blocking out life. In my attempt to numb the pain, I’ve numbed the joy, as well as the experience of being alive. Essentially, I’ve shut myself down to the moments that make life worth living.
Joseph Campbell is often quoted for saying, “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” He’s right, and for a long time this resonated deep within me. But now…it just doesn’t, even though I still believe it.
My experience of being alive isn’t very fulfilling right now and I find myself with a strange detachment toward it.