There are moments when the heaviness of time and importance of legacy swirl around me like a hurricane, and all I can think is, ‘Does anything I do actually matter?’
It’s a bit teenage girl, I know, but every now and then the weight of this short life sits on my shoulders and all I can think about is whether I’m doing anything important, significant, and memorable.
What’s the point of working ourselves exhausted?
What’s the point of being promoted?
What value is there in money?
Of course, a few months ago, when money was causing me headache-wrenching anxiety, its value was very apparent. But in the grander scheme of things it feels kinda… pointless.
Then I watched this video today of a prisoner let out after 44 years behind bars, and his small, poignant realisations of what makes him happy now, and the relationships he left behind really, to use a cliche, struck a chord with me on some levels.
His story made me think about my life, and what I hold significant, and the meaning behind it.
Vincent van Gogh stressed about money, but left behind art that inspired countless amounts of people. I don’t think he was happy though. And the same can be said for dozens of artists and great minds across time.
But does that matter either? Does leaving behind a legacy mean anything if it makes you miserable for the brief blink we’re alive?
I guess this is what they call a quarter-life crisis. I’m in my late twenties, and made some major decisions after the past few months about the path of my life.
And you know what, I’m extremely happy. The happiest I’ve ever been, I could even say. I love my life, and where I am, and who I’m with. I love having a rich life out of work, I love the joy in the little things I find with my partner. I love a delicious meal, and a good book, and wine with close friends.
But when I’m washing my hair, and thinking about the life-changing novel I want to write, but never find time for, I wonder if it’s enough to just be happy. Or if I should be striving for something more.