The absurdity of forward

Lindsay Giovannone, Copy Desk Chief

Lately I’ve been wondering something: Would younger me be proud of who I am now? Would my younger self from 2021, 2020, 2010 or even 2005 still see a reflection of themselves? Would my younger selves be happy with who I am now?

I hope everyone else feels the rage and helplessness at the thought of getting older–and this is not in the sense that I physically fear aging or the pressure to find a fulfilling career under late-stage capitalism in my early twenties. But in the sense that we are constantly moving forward in time with no possibility of stopping.

I want to go back to being a child sitting in the backseat of my mother’s ancient Chrysler, driving to elementary school. The world then didn’t have any expectations and it didn’t hurt. I’d love to come home from high school and hear my dog’s pitter patter as he greets me at the door. But that’s not where I am in life anymore and regardless of how much I dwell on the past, I am burdened with time.

I resonate with Albert Camus’ theory of the absurd. He defined “the absurd” as our futile search for meaning in an incomprehensive, chaotic universe that is void of any true meaning. Absurdism is our desire for happiness and meaning within an indifferent universe.

I fight against the absurd every day–we all do. Yet I am somehow winning this fight. It is a jarring moment when you realize that you truly do exist and that you are the only one who can give your life meaning. I believe that the true purpose of our lives is to cook tasty things for other people and to say, “here let me help you.” Sometimes when I wonder what the point of all of this is, I spend time with who and what I love, and then (if only for a moment), I see.