Oh boy, where do I start?
I've been pacing the room for about fifteen minutes now, trying to decide whether I should write this or not. I don't even know why I'm posting this here. I suppose it's mainly because I feel the need to unload all this somehow, and I just don't have anyone to talk to about it. I'm not sure how coherent this'll turn out to be, or how much anything anyone might possibly write in response will actually help me, and I already feel like I'm embarrassing myself, but since I already started, I'm just gonna keep going regardless.
Just to be clear, I have no intentions of harming myself or anything of that nature, so this is not that kind of post.
I'm guessing everyone here knows what I mean by an existential crisis, so the situation I'm about to describe to you will probably seem familiar. I've done some of the reading (The Last Messiah) almost everyone most likely does when they find themselves in these circumstances. So yes, I know I'm not alone in feeling what I feel. But knowing that I'm not unique, in this sense at least, is not helping. In fact, it's making it all even worse, for whatever reason.
So, everything I thought I knew about myself and the world has been shattered. No, there hasn't occurred any singular, life-disturbing event in my life that would have caused this. I guess it's all just been building up for a while, and now, through a combination of things, it's all clicked into place inside my brain and everything that was keeping me together has come crashing down.
I turned 24 about a month ago. I live at home (partly by choice, partly because renting a place here in Finland is getting ridiculously expensive). I'm studying English at university. I have plenty of acquaintances, but no close friends, or I guess no one I'd even call a friend. I lost the last of them in high school, when we turned 18 and all they were interested in doing any more was going out and getting drunk (I don't drink).
I guess I'd call myself an introvert, and I enjoy solitude, most of the time. But I'm by no means anti-social, and I like people. I've met plenty of new people through university and I've actively sought out opportunities to make new friends, but somehow I always end up with people whose sole purpose in life seems to be to get as much drink down their throats as they can possibly manage. My choice of not drinking is always met with puzzlement, and I always end up being the outsider. I just can't seem to find people who share my interests, people who think the same way I do, people who feel what I feel. It makes me feel frustrated and alone.
I was born in England. My father is British and my mother Finnish. I've lived in Finland for most of my life, but I've never felt completely at home here. Up until some years ago I always thought of England as my real home, but then something changed. I have no idea what did it, but, despite having roots and family in two countries, I've been left feeling like I don't belong anywhere. It definitely has nothing to do with my home life, since I've always got on well with my parents; they've given me all the support in everything I could have asked for and more, they've never had unrealistic expectations of me or pushed me to do anything I didn't want to. Yet I don't know if it's because of me or them that, in this situation I find myself in now, I feel I don't want to discuss my problems with them. Ironic isn't it that, for some dumb reason, the people who would most definitely want to comfort me are the one's I definitely don't feel like I want to be comforted by?
I'm in my second year of studying English at university. I've always been good with languages and writing (begin bilingual definitely helps with all that), but now I'm starting to feel like I'm wasting time doing something I don't really want to do. I enjoy the creative side of it, which I'm good at, but I'm having trouble internalising all the language theory we're required to know, and I've been failing my exams.
What I originally wanted to study was filmmaking, but Finland really isn't the country for that. Jobs in the industry are scarce here. Even if I continue to pursue creative uses of writing, the job situation on that front is just as bad. What I'm left feeling is that following my dreams will lead me nowhere.
All of the above combined is what I'd call one half of what caused this little existential breakdown of mine. Each of the things I mentioned above has usually turned up individually to weigh down on me every now and again, but I've always managed to fight them off.
Here's the other half, the thing that destroyed me.
Movies are what feed my emotions, where I find food for philosophical thought, where I search for meaning.
In January, I saw a Swedish film called Vi är bäst! (We are the Best!). It's about three teenage girls who start a punk rock band. It's a realistic, unpretentious take on genuine friendship, on growing up, on life. It's quite frankly an adorable film and a lot of fun. It made me laugh, it made me tear up, it had everything I could ask of a great film.
When I got home after the film, I was feeling down. I couldn't figure out why. It lasted for a week or so, then went away.
I watched the film again a week ago. What followed was what felt like my soul caving in on itself. I felt afraid. I felt jealous. I felt angry.
I started to fear that I'd never get to experience the kind of genuine friendship the girls share in the film. Maybe I've already missed my chance. Maybe I'm too old for it. My childhood is gone. Did I even have true friends when I was younger? Maybe my childhood wasn't as good as I always thought it was.
I felt jealous of their relationship in the film. But why am I jealous of teenage girls? I'm a boy. Boys don't have the kinds of relationships that girls have with each other. I've never thought of myself as being straight or gay or bisexual or whatever. I've never felt gender should restrict me from loving someone. But still, what does my jealousy of them mean in view of my being male? What am I? Who am I? I can't recognise myself any more.
I felt angry at myself. It's my fault that I don't have anyone. I felt angry at... whatever is out there. Why am I surrounded by people, but I can't find that one person? I just want one person whom I can understand and who understands me. But how can anyone understand me if I don't understand myself?
Everything that I was became unravelled, undone.
My present, my future, my past. I'm questioning all of it.
If you've made it this far, I applaud you. I feel like a fool. Now, the good thing is that I can still enjoy games and movies and everything else just as much as before. But the moment my mind stops being occupied by some distraction, I feel like I could burst into tears.
I never used to be one to call attention to myself, and I don't know why I'm doing so now. I still don't know why I had to write this, or why I'm posting it here, or what I expect it to accomplish, if anything. I don't know who I am, what I am or what I'm supposed to do. I feel alone.
If you read all of the above, thank you. I hope you don't feel like I wasted your time. If you gained nothing else from this, at least you got a tip for a great movie. I'll leave the trailer for it below. It's well worth watching if you get the chance, even if you don't particularly care for punk rock music (which I don't so much). I hope it doesn't destroy you like it did me (unless all this turns out to be a good thing, in which case I hope it destroys you too!).
Too long, didn't read? Good for you. I (whatever "I" means) probably wouldn't have either.