Like a wisp in the sands of the universe

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I am overcome with the weight of my own mortality.

My dad is 70 and had pancreatic cancer a few years ago. While he survived, for which I am daily grateful, it decimated his body. He can’t do many of the things he used to enjoy because his legs don’t work like they used to. He’s always telling me this isn’t how he planned to spend his golden years.

Watching him and my mother get older has been a wake-up call. I’m 23, and I have wasted most of my youth on video games and school. I’ve lived a ‘safe’ and ‘responsible’ life, but I’ve found it unfulfilling. Yet, I’m afraid to leave the comfort and safety of my routine to chase a different life.

Watching my parents grow older and more frail has made me realize that I too will someday grow old and die. In face, I might not even grow old. All of me, my whole essence, is encased in this frail biological form that could cut out on me at any moment.

I was raised Christian, but my education has led me to balk those views without really finding anything to replace them. I am, for lack of a better term, agnostic, and I really, really wish I weren’t.

I have become painfully aware that all this *makes sweeping gesture* is temporal, and will someday fade. Unless I do something truly extraordinary, in a few hundred years no one will remember me, and it will be as though I never lived at all.

Is there anyone else who struggles with this? It makes it really hard to see the value in school, relationships, or much of anything. When you put an exam up against the weight of the cosmos, that text just doesn’t measure up.

Pile on top of that the knowledge that in about 5 billion years the sun will blow up, making damn sure all of human existence and its impact on the earth was,

utterly meaningless.

So, if you’ve already come to terms with this, how do you cope? What makes you want to go on living, fighting to breathe, eat, make love and everything in between? Why do you get out of bed in the morning and go to work/school/whatever?

I’d really like to know.

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