It’s interesting, how things always seem to be for a purpose to humans; how things seem to coalesce to a specific plan at a specific time. We always read into things. As humans we diagnose and spot patterns, and make the chaos of the world make sense. We are constantly ensuring that the center can hold.
(This goes doubly so for people in programming and IT.)
For me, this year has been one of trying to resolve things. I’m figuring out the things I want to do - and am having a … mild case of midlife crisis syndrome to show for it.
Part of this is the obvious; the pandemic. COVID is just a reminder of something that’s never /so/ far away from being top of mind - that people, including you and yours truly, die. And when you’re constantly exposed to that fact … there’s a sort of reckoning with your own mortality that happens at first. But then, with repetition, it can become … too normal. COVID deaths as a statistic aren’t even that high, compared to other deaths. Aging will always be the largest killer of humanity. But at the same time … we aren’t exposed as a society to the fact of death, to the reality of the fragileness of our lives. And this disease … is exposing that. What’s scary about COVID to me isn’t the disease itself - the disease is scary, but it seems scarier to me that half of 300,000,000 people (in the US) seem to not agree with “If we listen to scientists, we can help slow this disease”. People have become extreme, and society is sort of warping at the edges. And it makes you think: how can I change this? How can I get people to understand? How can there be understanding throughout? And also: how did I not see portions of this before? COVID has not caused much of the tribalism in society. It has, however, made much of it so much more obvious and stripped bare.
The isolation doesn’t help deal with this. One becomes stir-crazy, especially when left alone (as isolation almost mandates many times), and circling a path by yourself is honestly not as much fun as I’d like. It’s a bearable thing, but also an exasperating one when it’s not a unified feeling. Here in the US, it’s easy to see everyone who is isolating attempting to help everyone else, and then a large group of people just … ignoring isolation. This causes a need for more isolation. The cycle continues.
So both this isolation and this … disallusionment with how society gets people to reason about things … leads very easily to questioning the way that things are.
In these times, I’m asking myself things like: Are the things I do meaningful? What can I do that /is/ meaningful? What is life going to be about, in the end? And when people - most, if not all people - seem to not desire to connect: how can we get, societally, to a good place?
I don’t know these answers, but I do know that what I’m doing right now - for my job, for my hobbies, for my life - doesn’t seem to have a larger meaning beyond survival. And I’d like what I do to have an answer to one of those questions, in at least one of those aspects. I know it’s almost the height of being spoiled, but it’s something I feel I have to strive for, if I can.
For now, though, I am working on myself, in preparation for being able to attempt to answer that question; either preparing to answer the question, or attempting to help push towards an answer to it. It feels almost like a waking dream: one attempts to set up everything just right, position the last domino in a line, and then, carefully (carefully!), flick it with the barest hint of a finger, then run along the path as they topple, straightening them out if they start to wobble, and ensuring that they all align in the correct place.