Oh, the Idiot You Are Today
You never had as much information about your life as you have in this very moment. Every day overwrites the one that came before. Every year overshadows the last. For we have been less knowledgeable our whole life, this is a celebration of the idiots we are today. In chronological order.
You are going to start off with a very basic belief of what your parents tell you. And that's it for the first years of your life. But don’t worry, you won’t remember much of this later anyways.
When you get a little more cognitive function and start talking, your parents are probably going to tell you about a god person whom they really cherish. That belief is alright for a start, makes a lot of explaining much easier for them.
As you get older you will start to think this whole god-thing sounds suspicious. Why exactly do your parents believe in the ideas of a book, you have never seen them read?
But hey! All in all, you’ve got bigger things on your mind. Just now hair has started to grow underneath your arm and—holy shit—you don’t really care about anything. That, although everything is as thought-provoking as it ever has been. Besides, you’ve discovered PornHub, and oh boy: giant time consumer.
Every year you become a little smarter and cannot believe what an idiot you were just last year. You do not really and honestly believe in anything fundamentally, but you would love for things just to figure themselves out already. To just be for once sure, that this thing you believe in now is also the thing you will believe in next year. But that’s not going to happen. No, seriously. That is not going to happen for a long time.
You are in your teens and truly believe that young people should be living to the fullest, you want to go out, do sports, meet girls. But also, you discover memes. And with them a whole online community. In here, everyone is the same. For the first time you feel like you are part of something bigger, a community which writes its own rules. You realize that no one has an idea of what they seek in life, that your fears are absolutely normal. Everyone is without plan, everyone is afraid of failure, everyone is miserable at times. This is a good realization, a much needed one, but while you grow, this community is static. You visit less and then not at all.
As you stopped truly believing in a higher power, you try to fill that void with something else. Luckily there are enough theories on the YouTube recommended section:
Everything was created last Thursday? Not really your thing. Life is just a computer simulation? That sounds plausible. Nothing exists, and everything is shit? Err, slow down there a little.
You read a quote by Oscar Wilde or some other poetry slamming dead men and it really gets to you: Being happy is the most important thing. Well, that seems logical. You feel good while being happy, so why not make it the center of it all. You try to focus on love, because love is said to make you happy.
All that you lack now is a partner. You’ve seen that pattern in enough movies. It’s not like you didn’t try before, but this time it will be different! You are going to get in shape, be smart, be funny, because you’ve got a purpose in doing so.
It doesn’t work in the beginning. But it gets better, and better, and better. You start having dates. You start gaining some experiences, at first a little clumsy, there a little too much, there not enough. But you get better. You kiss, you have sex. You like her, she doesn’t like you anymore. She leaves. He likes you, you don’t like him. You leave.
This goes on for some time.
Yet, while all the love and lust you have felt was strong, it never was able to catch the same intensity as your first crush in 7th grade. This crush, without even coming near to physical contact, has let you feel being in love in its purest. There was no thinking about getting rejected or getting hurt, because you never got rejected or hurt before. There was no system on how to deal with falling in love, no thought of loss. That is why for the sole time in your entire life, you have felt the feeling and not just had the abstract thought of it.
Only one thing ever comes close to your first encounter with pure love: Admiring the curly-haired guy you see on the subway, just before getting out. Or seeing that girl in the dotted dress sitting on a bench reading, while you pass by. These people who let you dream of a whole universe together in just the split of a second. This unbearable love of the unknown, of chances never took, of a million possibilities.
This brings you down. You realize that you admire the idea of it, but as soon as you would talk to the girl on the bench, she would become a person. Just as imperfect as you are. It all perishes as soon as you try to capture it.
So, there has got to be more… or not?
All your feelings were built upon and systemized over time. This is why you never can reach the bottom of them anymore. You are stuck on a tower that you have built yourself.
Unless there was something more basic, something more fundamental, something less "something." When you could find a lower denominator, more basic than your pure feeling, maybe you will be able to lower your tower, go back to being in love like you were in 7th grade.
In your mind a new world has lit up, but you are unable to make out its vegetation, let alone its borders. You know that your inner seeking has just started, but like with every new beginning, there is no way of knowing where to start. That is why you don’t start at all. And you do that for a while. You cannot go wrong if you don’t start the journey.
You numb your thoughts with repetitive sit-coms, look at some more memes, and get into weird porn. But every day you must get to a new level to restrain the new world that is waiting for you. Having sex feels good in a natural way, as it is supposed to be, but leaves you lurking for a new high afterwards. You go out drinking with your friends and have fun, but it succumbs to the very same problem: You need more.
Then you reach a moment of clarity. It wasn’t planned nor even wanted. May it be caused by a look out the window, sitting at the tram station while the stank of a cigarette crawls up your nostrils or hearing a new piece of music. You feel it: This new world cannot await you any longer.
You open a book, not knowing how all of this has led you to reaching out for exactly this one. At first you skip through it a little. And suddenly, you are hooked. There it is again, this feeling of being connected to something bigger than yourself. But this time it is not a community on the internet, but writers, some long dead, who did not only have the same feelings and thoughts as you do, thoughts that you believed were special only to you, but drew conclusions from them. Something you never did quite in the same way. You try to learn how to draw these conclusions yourself, feel dumb for being unable to do so in the same way, but carry on reading.
Slowly you deconstruct everything around you, the things you thought you knew. This brings great pleasure to you, enlightens this unknown world, lights up new parts with every turn of a page. As you get to know this metaphysical world, feelings you formerly described as Love begin to lose meaning. It hurts your very reason to see your known world crumble and fall. But stopping now is impossible, it would leave you in destruction behind, and darkness ahead.
The new world slowly arises in front of you. For the first time in your life you willingly battle against yourself, challenging all that you know. This not only parts you from your former self, but you feel alienated from your surroundings, unable to connect to the people who are your friends and family.
In a moment of reflection, you laugh at yourself for believing happiness and love were the center of your life just half a year ago. You laugh at this person you were before.
You have stopped going at out as much—well, there just is no real point in doing so until you’ve found out what exactly the end of this journey is. You feel your alienation is now rather unwanted, and not by choice anymore. Meeting people is fun, but you are unable to connect, unable to find sense in the words of those around you. Your friends laugh at you in a friendly way—“this strange habit you’ve developed,” or in other words: Stop being a dick.
But you cannot stop. You cannot end this journey without finding that something that you have always felt being there. You knew this journey would not be easy, would even hurt, but never would you have thought that loneliness is of such destructive power. How could all these people who wrote so descriptive, painted so thoughtfully and made music so beautiful, were of such undeniable genius, be able to live purposefully? They must have tried to grasp it with their art. They must have known of this something.
You try to get out of the house. All your thoughts are turning in a circle, never connecting quite the way you need it. You make your way to the bus station and a young woman with a weirdly stylish cloak coat comes up to you. She asks you which bus to take to the city center and you tell her to just come along with you. You are heading in the same direction. You help her get the right ticket and she asks what book is in your hand. You tell her the title and she asks what it is about. You tell her. She seems interested, but not impressed. You talk. She studies something you would never feel able to do yourself and you talk about this bar you used to like. The two of you set a date for the same evening and she shows up in a dotted dress. While you drink your beer at an orderly fashion, because you don’t want to seem like a twit, she already finished hers and waits for you to keep up. She responds to your thoughts, responds to your dumb ideas, but a lot smarter than you were in the first place. Not once do you think about the book you read earlier. She must leave early, and it makes you sad to see her go.
The next day you are unable to read, the words seem so out of this world. Fairly unimportant. And once again, you outsmarted your past self.
Oh, this idiot you were yesterday.
You meet her again and she is everything you can think of. For the first time a kiss seems to have a meaning for itself and not just for the act of doing so. For the first time you don’t think about how to kiss, but how wonderful it feels, how such a flawless person could lower herself into liking you.
Oh, this idiot you were a week ago.
How could you even have thought that love was to be analyzed and taken apart? How could one have lived in such ignorance of beauty for the past year. All this time you read the works of people long gone and expected to find an answer. All these writers were just thinkers. They didn’t know the answers. If they did, they surely would have seen the pure waste of thinking the unthinkable, just for the sake of it.
Oh, this idiot you were a month ago.
You had thought that once you had this one special knowledge in you, there would be something sublime, something higher, something truer, this "something."
You don’t believe in true love, but for the first time you are aware of it.
Now, you wait. You know that rationality is hard to keep up when in love. But you also know that rationality is what will destroy it.
You will soon find out, what an idiot you are today.