I Don’t Understand Life

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Every once in a while I get this indescribable feeling where my brain goes into freak-out mode for just a split second, and it puts me on the verge of having a panic attack. It’s happened a few times over the years, usually after I start thinking about either history or space, the two things I can’t even begin to fathom. I’ll try my best to explain it in a way that can be understood.

There’s this moment where everything falls out-of-place (note, this is mostly unconscious) and I’m just frozen, in awe of how simultaneously implausible and inevitable it is just to exist at all. Can an existential crisis last fifteen seconds? Apparently so.

I feel stupid because of what spurned this feeling this time. A song from a South Park episode called “A Very Crappy Christmas”… that was sung by a poo.


  • Considering the last time this happened is when I heard Carl Sagan say “We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
  • Sometimes I get scared that a random stranger might walk up to me and say “wake up”, and I’ll find myself just coming out of a coma or in a weird Matrix-like world.
  • What if I’m just a character in a Sims game, and the user decides to put me in the swimming pool and take off the ladder?
  • Big Bang (or whatever creation idea you subscribe to) –> 13.8 billion years (or 5,000 years or whatever)
    –> my life –> who knows how much time
born too early to explore the galaxy
dank memes are my life

Even the idea that anything happened before I existed blows my mind. How can I verify this? Can I really trust anyone enough to believe them? *shifty eyes* can I trust photographs?! But doesn’t believing death is the end of everything imply that you are the center of the universe? Sounds mighty self-centered to me. I know this, but there’s a tiny piece of me that can’t fathom life continuing after I cease to exist. As much as I try to explain it to myself, that fraction of my brain is unconvinced.  I don’t understand life…  At all.

Either this happens to everybody from time to time, or I’m just hell-bent on obsessing over what I can’t understand. I realize there’s not really a message to this post, but I had to write something about this feeling. I’ve been thinking of reading some existentialist literature and philosophy, but I’m not sure if that will make it better or worse.

Queue Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day”

[Ice Cube]
Hey wait, wait a minute Pooh, stop this shit
What the fuck I’m thinkin’ about?

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  1. Sarah says

    I get that feeling too – usually from spoken and written conversation or complex ideas. Putting abstract concepts into tiny squiggles or various noises is such a weird thing. It makes me feel like I should understand foreign languages.

    1. Sir Dalski says

      I know exactly what you mean. We were watching this Noam Chomsky video in a Linguistics class I took one time and he was talking about babies and how they learn language. Makes me go “urrrrggghhhhh”

  2. Carla says

    I was thinking about death the other day and how some make me sad, some are just “glad their out of pain” moments and then I thought how I gonna feel when it’s me? Will it be follow the white light or fade other black. Cuz I can’t see how fade to black serves any purpose. Or how the voice in my head would just stop.

    1. Sir Dalski says

      That’s an interesting thought. People always think about other people’s death, but not so much about how others might feel about their own. That’s the thing though: is there really a purpose at all? We all hope there is, but the thing is, we’ll never know until it happens. All we can do is have faith (or not), and cross our fingers.

      Best case scenario is that we somehow regain consciousness in some other form, whether it be immediate, or billions of years from now after this Earth is dead and gone. It’s crazy to think about.

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