If You’ve Ever Wondered What You’re Supposed to Do With Your Time

Auriane Alix
Some thoughts need to be encapsulated.
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Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

It’s as if life was playing us by its absence of meaning. Like making a child seek a package in a house when really there is no package.

Or maybe it just doesn’t take the form we expect.

In the morning, everything’s fine. I know what I have to do, and I like my routine. I’m focused on my work. I spend a few hours supporting myself financially, putting gas in the everyday tank, all while doing something I enjoy.

I’ve built my lifestyle so that I have free time. I believe that life is not meant to be spent mostly behind a screen. I’ve made sure to avoid this.

But here it is. Once I’ve eaten lunch, taken a nap, if any, what am I supposed to do with this time window I’ve created for myself?

My soul is hungry, longing for what it is that we call Life, but can’t locate it in the vastness of the subterfuge we’ve created.

If I stay between four walls, I have the unpleasant sensation of wasting, losing one day of my life. Staying at home, outside of work hours and evenings, doesn’t feel “right”. It’s like I’m missing out on something.

This idea leads to another one: it would mean that something else is waiting for me somewhere. But what? Where? When I finally walk through the door, pushed by a growing feeling of discomfort that ends up tangibly filling my entire head, what more do I have to do? Wander the streets? Walk aimlessly? Drown my emptiness in stores?

These activities seem almost as meaningless to me as simply staying at home. Passing the time. Like I’m waiting for something. Which I probably am.

Passing the time... I’ve always been puzzled by this expression. Literally, to occupy ourselves, close our eyes, while waiting for an amount of time to pass and for the moment we find ourselves in, which obviously doesn’t fulfill us, to give way to another that we desire.

It is supposed to be transitory. Derogatory. As one would do on an airplane, or in a waiting room.

For me, it feels like almost every day.

Earlier, as I was returning home after a meaningless walk, I laid my eyes on the sky. The combination of clouds and brightness provided the backdrop for a ballet of birds. There were many of them. I found it beautiful.

This vision rekindled something in me.

And made me think that perhaps the quest was simply one of beauty. That all I had to do to make good use of my time was to get out of my house in search of beauty, whether human or natural. Let it fill me up, recognize my quality as a witness, infinitely lucky to be one, and start again the next day.

To be there.
To see. To hear. To feel.

Maybe that’s why I practice photography. It’s my way of looking for and encapsulating the beauty of the world in an image, to be able to encapsulate it in myself at the same time. To feed myself with it.

I’m clueless. I’ve been for some time now.

When people ask me what I’m looking for when I travel, I think that’s it. I’m seeking to disconnect from this reality, immerse myself entirely in another, and see clearly.

To take some distance, to see better.

Place your finger on your nose. Do you see it clearly? I can’t either. We are so immersed in life that we no longer see it. I find that terribly frustrating.

So I’m moving away geographically, trying to get away significantly.

All my hopes rest on it. I can’t picture myself coming back here, failure of my project, of this lifestyle that calls me and seems to be the one I need. Crave. Find myself facing these same questions, but this time without the perspective of light that my upcoming departure represents.

In two weeks, I am leaving. In two weeks, I will know.

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