just because something is narrated by a sea cucumber in the gobi desert, that doesn’t make it interesting.
i hate to drop the millennial media trend piece lingo, but it sounds like you’re paralyzed by “fear of missing out,” aka “if i don’t choose or commit to anything now my options will stay open!”
this is a natural pull for a perceiving type, but here’s the danger to it: time is going to close doors for you whether you commit to anything or not. in the professional world it’s a shabby looking resume, but in other aspects of life it can be anything from physical aging to people you care about choosing to commit to things you can’t. deciding to wait and do nothing is still a decision. consequences of this choice are as real as consequences of a more concrete commitment. you really only get one future and it’s only going to play out one way. eventually the consequences of your action or inaction will come to pass and that will be part of what makes up the timeline known as your life.
i’m not saying you SHOULD choose to commit to something if you don’t want to. i’m not saying your choice to do nothing is the wrong one or the right one. i’m simply trying to remind you that like it or not you get one lifetime to worry about until you die. it’s going to keep on unfolding whether you get busy doing anything or not. you can’t press pause.
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future.
i would say this “existential crisis” is one of the most concrete themes i can trace throughout my entire life. here’s my first aid kit for it:
the band-aids (little fixes to cope day to day):
- thought-provoking, multi-dimensional fiction (nabokov, scarlett thomas, david foster wallace, some (not all) of chuck palahniuk’s work)
- good weed
- long conversations about hypothetical ideas with intelligent people.
- red wine
- entertaining distractions like netflix, cooking, making travel plans.
the prescriptions (bigger shifts in perspective that can make the crisis feel more manageable over time):
- optimistic self-satisfaction that the existential crisis makes you so much more open to learning new things.
- professionally administered cognitive behavioral therapy.
- certain well-researched psychedelic drug experiences done in a safe environment.
major surgery (long term commitments that ultimately help the existential crisis go away more permanently):
- extensive and ongoing study of metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology.
- inquisitive study of major topics in world religions, sociology, and quantum mechanics.
- making the deliberate, active, and ongoing choice to love one’s own ignorance for the open-minded, critical-thinking asset that it is.
as humans we are confined to this earth and we are confined to levels of ignorance so vast it is literally impossible for us to even comprehend how little we can possibly know. the thing is, this is the case for everyone, yet all of us still must engage in the day to day life that is dictated by systems wildly beyond our comprehension.
in the grand scheme of the universe my idea of the meaning of life is pretty much as pointless as my cat’s idea of the meaning of life (in all fairness i did name my cat after bertrand russell so he’s probably a bit above average there, but still). the thing is, the extensive studying i have done and continue to do makes me feel fully in control of what i choose to believe. the universe is infinitely complex, but the human mind is less so. the more you learn and continue to learn the more you will change your mind and continue to change your mind. every time you do this, however, you will feel powerful, having understood that given the knowledge in front of you, you made the best choice about what you think the universe might be, mean, or want. having the ability to do this is what makes being a person so great.
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - socrates
i’m a bit confused why you feel job hopping equates to self-sabotage… growing bored with something and making the choice to move on is not necessarily a bad thing unless you feel it is hindering some other outcome you would like to experience.
what ends do you feel like you are sabotaging? it sounds to me like you are afraid you are missing out on some fulfilling state of permanent professional bliss that is truly impossible to achieve. jobs are jobs. as red forman wisely said, “if it wasn’t work, they’d call it ‘super wonderful crazy fun time,’ or ‘skippedy-do!’”
there are so many wonderful aspects to life outside the professional world (thank goodness for that or else we INTP’s would be completely screwed). INTP’s have statistically the lowest level of job satisfaction. the best option for me personally has been to fill my life to the brim with rewarding experiences outside the day to day drudgery of my job.
pick your battles. and cherish the people who enter your life who don’t make you feel this way. you don’t really owe it to yourself to make your voice heard when you think a certain thing. it’s only important if the person listening can understand and appreciate what you’re saying (a tree falling in the woods without anyone to hear it actually DOESN’T make a sound. it only emits sound waves, but waves need receptors to be considered sound). Pointless argument is literally wasted breath. There is no value to making sound waves when they aren’t being heard; you might as well be a tree in the woods all by yourself. Nobody else is living in your brain or your skin. When you get frustrated it’s your problem, nobody else’s. If you only feel true to yourself when you subject unintelligent people to your frustrations, life’s gonna be pretty unnecessarily unpleasant for you.
—james mcavoy, the wisest of bros
—peter saunders [social class and intelligence]