What is Life?

Okay, so from the title, I know that you’re expecting some deep revelation that probes into the heart of life, waxing with sage and philosophy. Sorry to disappoint you!

For me, life just seems to be “a quick succession of busy nothings.” By the way, for those of you who have not lived and read any of Jane Austen’s masterpieces, that is a reference to her Mansfield Park. But it rings true for me. It seems like I just live day to day, hour by hour, to busy myself with things that are ultimately of no importance. Every day I go through the same monotonous routine: wake up, take out my retainer, brush my teeth, research scholarships, eat, etc. This begs (at least for me) the question: am I really living?

I mean, sure, all my vital signs are good, I’m scientifically “alive”, but do I always feel alive? Do I feel the exhilaration of the busy world around me, the air practically crackling with the unspoken thoughts and ideas swarming around me? Do I wake up each morning savoring the scent of the air and glorying in being alive to live another day? The answer: no.

I suppose this is one of the reasons people often find me daydreaming. I dream of a better life, of doing exciting things, things that I can look back on and remember with the same excitement as the day I accomplished them. I dream of adventure, I admit, and it makes me restless. I desire the unknown, of going to sleep one night with no idea of how the next will turn out.

Is this a sign? Probably. It probably means I have watched too much Doctor Who. But still.

Some of you have probably felt this way before, the aching deep in your heart for something…more, something that you can’t identify but that desire welling deep within you nonetheless. I believe it is this desire that causes us to do dangerous things. It is like that voice in your head when you’re staring over a cliff, and you feel that urge to jump. Perhaps, in some people, that longing is just too strong. It might be just this desire that causes people to risk their lives, or the lives of others; mayhaps this desire is what causes some people to kill, just to experience what it is like. Ever just to get the next thrill.


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