Definition

by Alexandru Ciobanu

I’m afraid I may have exhausted my well of self-reflection. And I’ve never felt less like myself. There doesn’t seem to be anything quite that interesting to say about me anymore. My self-awareness has finally brought me to the realization that I’m as human as everyone else. It seems like a ridiculous statement but I’ve always looked to separate myself from the rest and to have human tendencies was a constricting notion. Yet, in truest human form, I want others to like me. I search for validation just like everyone else, confirmation that I’m abiding by a life worth living.

As someone once told me, there are some human characteristics that, if rejected, will make you automatically unfulfilled in life. You can’t expect to separate yourself from the world and then wind up happy. It’s one of the most human inclinations to want to be a part of something, especially since communities have been present since the beginning of mankind. Yet we strive so intensely for individuality. Because we want to believe that our individual presence in this world will make a difference, that it will be worth something. And, well, good luck with that.

There’s something quietly devastating about realizing that nothing matters anyway, isn’t it? It doesn’t manifest itself as though a brick just hit you on the head, but rather like finding a leech that had been draining your blood for quite some time. By the time you actually do find it, you had already lost so much blood that you’re tired. So very tired. You keep waiting for that blood transfusion to reignite your drive, but no one seems to be a match. Not great metaphors there, I’m afraid. But I’ve never had any intention to be subtle.

“Nothing holds me to anything / I want fifty things at once”, wrote Fernando Pessoa in one of his poems. For a while now, it’s been all I can think about. It’s representative of my own feelings, otherwise it wouldn’t be so evocative. However, it seems to point out something deeper, i.e., my fear of definition. I almost dread becoming an actual cohesive person because it would mean I would need to start living a life worthy of that person, and that breeds disappointment. At this point in my life, though, I don’t want to be any one thing. Of course, people are never one thing, but at a certain age they are pushed into consolidation. Society functions on coherence, and expects that of its people as well.

So I find myself at an impasse. Is the inconsistency of my behavior and indifference towards the world a testament of my age and, therefore, something I will grow out of, or am I actually anything special?

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