I Love Having Existential Crises

Auriane Alix
Here’s why you should welcome yours too.
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

That’s once every six months. The last time this happened was in November. My digital nomad project came back to me like a boomerang that I thought was gone, and suddenly I couldn’t stand “waiting” anymore. I felt like my whole life was about waiting, waiting for that moment when I could live fully and intensely. I bought plane tickets and left for three months. Once I felt like I had accomplished what needed to be accomplished, I got back and felt at peace. At least for a while.

The time before that, I had decided that I was tired of sitting around all day staring at a screen. I wanted to move. I applied at a restaurant and became a waitress. For two months. Then I missed writing. So I quit. I’m almost ashamed to write this.

Even though these existential crises sometimes make me want to crawl into bed and disappear, I believe they are positive. They are the catalyst for a brighter, more balanced tomorrow. The inevitable gateway.

What happens if you never reach that point where you no longer stand something? I guess you melt into more and more boredom, just to find yourself a few years later living a life that is no longer yours.

My existential crises are abrupt and sudden. But they happen because I keep questioning everything — sometimes too much. So when something is out of balance for too long, it becomes overwhelming, highlighted in neon yellow in my mind, and I can’t not change it.

I then have no other choice. I empty the contents of my head onto the paper, or I go running so I come back with an empty mind and am able to think clearly. I search, search and search again for solutions, trying to identify what is wrong and how I can solve it. And every time, it leads to something.

These existential crises force me to reconsider what I have learned, and to question it so that it continues to fit the latest version of myself. That’s how I move forward.

I can tell right away when something is wrong. Then I try to identify what is wrong. Right now, I’m bored with not having any projects other than things that involve sitting in front of a screen. Just like last year. Then I try to identify what would bring the balance back. In this case, movement, and something long-term, that I could work on almost every day. Then I can draw conclusions, and find leads.

Sometimes these turn out to be dead ends. But that’s okay: I’ll have explored at least one of them, I’ll have made a cross on it, and I can continue my investigations in a methodical way.

That’s why I love my existential crises. If you take them as an indicator that something is wrong, and you try to solve them, they’re the best way to continue to evolve as close as possible to your deepest self.

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