A Touch of Existentialism

Like most people, I suppose, I am an odd collection of contradictions. Having a pretty dandy education and good genes, I’m not entirely dimwitted, in fact, would say that I’m not only intelligent enough to have gotten good grades in school right on up through my graduate studies but even so much so that I get along rather well in my life. But everybody who knows me also knows that I am also almost supernaturally dyslexic, being unable to read with ease or tell left from right, up from down, forward from back, and a host of other handy life skills that others, as I’ve observed, seem to come by naturally. This is not a complaint or bragging, either one, just a statement of fact. I do well, when I do well, because I have found sidelong ways to get the job done, whether it’s by reading any text at least three times through before it falls into sensibility in my quirky brain or by traveling on trust and a fairly reliable eye for landmarks to keep me finding home base despite my utter lack of an inner compass.

I am by nature exceedingly shy and have had from early childhood what I only learned as an adult was an unusually high level of constant anxiety that, with serious therapy and a consistent supply of low-level medicine, turns out to be manageable. So even though it seems incredibly unlikely and counterintuitive to people who meet me now, I appear to be a lifelong social butterfly, an extrovert, and naturally fearless about interactions even though without the meds and training I would be wholly unable to function at this happy level. My vocal cords are irritatingly subpar for regular use thanks to my SD*, but when I’m with someone I really enjoy and trust, I can be counted on to chatter without stopping (*other than when forced to) for great lengths of time.

And I have no magical powers. Again, I think myself essentially ordinary in having no skills or talents, knowledge or gifts, of special note. I am not overly self-deprecating or sad on this account, merely noting that if you’re looking for the person who will end all wars, cure cancer or the common cold, or discover a way to stabilize the planet’s climate forever, you should jolly well be looking at almost anybody else imaginable as a better go-to heroine. Yet I really do think we all exist for some sort of reason or purpose. It might well be that mine is nothing more than to spend a lifetime figuring out what my purpose is, and die slightly more contented than otherwise if I should be so lucky as to solve that puzzle any time before I’m taking my last breath.

You know what? That’s good enough for me.Digital illo + text: Hovercraft

14 thoughts on “A Touch of Existentialism

  1. I’ve been reading a lot about existing in the NOW. If we worry about what is going to happen and worry about what happened, we miss being here right now. A bit similar to you I’m also ridden with anxieties although mostly I can cover it up very well. I relate to people well short-term. it’s the long-term I have trouble with because my anxieties show up and then I run and hide. Anyway, I’m glad you’re here and posts like this are so important.

  2. this piece is amazing! you are amazing, maybe that is your purpose, to share this wonderful talent with the rest of us, to put out these wonderful words and thoughts!! Thank you, looking forward to more! Namaste, Michelle

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