Who are you? To me I mean. Who are you to me? Are you the girl with a ponytail so tight by the end of college she’s lost half her hairline? Are you the boy wearing gobs of goo in his hair to impress no one special…to heighten his perception of himself? No, no I don’t think you are.
I think you’re the person sitting on the edge of society and something unknown, cigarette dying between your teeth, hair wild. The misfit on your head never behaving, never having to. I think you’re different.
You could tell me I’m wrong but I don’t think that’s the case. You could tell me you don’t wear metal tees, you don’t cut your hair short (women) or grow your hair long (men). You could tell me you agree with the man. You could tell me you aren’t ready to cause a rebellion. You could tell me that you are beige.
That fit you fit in with everyone else.
But that would be a lie, wouldn’t it?
You aren’t beige. You don’t fit in. You live on the fringe of society. You sit on the cusp of unacceptable and illegal and you like it there. But what does that mean? What do you believe in? Who are you?
My reader. My confidant. The shadow who can see past the darkness of the words I write into the words I whisper, barely audible to myself. The truths we don’t all face.
We die. We fight against ourselves. We have free will. We die.
This last one is what I’ll touch on. Existentialist thought and theory is not a shallow one and to presume its entire existence is solely focused on death, the inevitable end of our lives and connections, is absurd. Other philosophies are not dumbed down like this.
But existentialism is.
Because it is easier for people to look at it as a cynical, dark, fringe kind of outlook. It’s easier to see it as dirty, depressing, and as spitting in the face of hope because if one keeps their view on it this way, their fragile perspective can remain intact. They do not have the capacity or desire to question those other parts of existential theory.
Some people refuse to have that capacity.
For those of us who are not familiar but somehow still classified under the umbrella as subscribing to existentialist beliefs, I’ll clarify some points to what existentialism really is.
It is first and foremost about our existence, how humans exist. In that, we realize that we die. Before we get to that, let’s understand that the moment we think, “I’m going to die. Everyone will die.” comes significantly after the moment our existential crisis (or intro to existentialism 101) begins.
What comes first is our individual questioning of whether our life has any true meaning since at some point we will be forgotten. Or, we are already so small and insignificant, how can we be important. Sometimes though, it is the fervent questions buzzing in our mind coming out to mean: Does my life have value?
Then nothing. The rest is up to you. In my opinion, we either become lodged in a world of depressive moments where nothing has purpose forever or we find the light of existentialist theory.
Which is composed of several large concepts all of which we’ll more deeply dive into at a later date.
Existentialism is about questioning our condition, our existence. It’s about acknowledging our own free will from the notion that yes, everything will end. We will die and because of this we are truly free to do as we please. It understands that science can’t and won’t fix everything but that secular rules and traditions can be extremely damaging and damning to the world.
It recognizes that society as it is now is unnatural, wrong in many ways and toxic to our human nature because we are best thinking, fighting ourselves, and pushing ourselves to new limits via our discipline.
But the most important part comes from an early existential thinker:
We have to recognize that we are individuals first. We act alone. We live for ourselves. We are conscious beings that act independently.
We have to recognize that before moving forward in examining ourselves and adding to our person.
I’ll leave you with that. Who are you? Who are you really?