I think it is the most powerful thing in the world, no, make that the universe. It is something everyone strives to avoid, yet it is essentially what we all end up with when we die.
When we are born we have nothing. We rely on others to care for us and give us the things we need to survive. We quickly latch on to those things for we innately know they are needed for survival. Even the love of our parents is not something that we begin with, but we quickly learn what it is and understand we need it to survive. Babies who get nothing don’t survive long.
As we grow we are taught to become something in life. You don’t want to grow up and be nothing, be a nobody. We are pushed to excel academically, athletically, even emotionally with relationships. We are socially driven to have the family (regardless of what that looks like), the good job, and the stable home. We are supposed to love, laugh, live, cry; feel sadness, loss, happiness and fullness. We are supposed to be a rainbow of emotions and expressions.
If you don’t have these things people wonder what is wrong with you. You get the questions – when are you going to start a family? When are you going to settle into a career? When are you going to settle down? These questions are driven from a view that you have nothing. You aren’t successful because you have nothing. If you don’t react to situations like you are supposed to you are categorized as cold or uncaring. Or worse, the weird guy who laughs at funerals.
Yet, as fearful as some people are of nothing, of having nothing, of being nothing, of feeling nothing – others strive to have exactly that, nothing. They don’t want all the things society tells us we need. They don’t need a relationship to make them feel like they have something. They don’t need a 9 to 5 to feel like they are somebody. They don’t worry about what others think about their life. Instead they gain something, something that is hard for lots of people to quantify because they cannot see it, touch it, or measure it. However, it is the nothing that is something. The lack of fear of nothing actually gives them something, which, in a way, is exactly opposite of what they may want.
In my own way I feel like this a lot. I am supposed to have all these feelings, all these wants and needs, but in reality I don’t. I have a lot of nothing, which to me, is something. I don’t want the normal 9 to 5, but I think I may thrust myself into the realm for the sake of others. To help them escape their nothingness. I don’t have this range of feelings that others seem to have around me and expect of me. I do feel. I feel certain things, yet it seems only in grand doses. I get angry, yet the direction is normally internal. I feel despair, happiness, lust, and love. I think a lot of everything else just escapes me. My walls keep everything out and my nothingness intact.
I know what a lot of you are saying, that by not having these things I actually gain other things. In some ways it is correct. You can really not have nothing. If you don’t have a house you may have more freedom to move as you please. In my own way, I think more internally. This is the area where the nothingness matters. Being able to have nothing and feel nothing can keep the world at bay and keep the madness out. It lets you look at situations without having the emotions cloud your perception or your reactions. Having nothing gives you exactly what is there and nothing extra added.
The problem I have currently is keeping it all out and not be flooded with anger or despair. It used to be so easy. I would just block everything out and just be happy. It was who I was. I was the funny, happy guy who could brighten the darkest of moods. It is easy when you don’t feel what others around you are feeling. I would sometimes wonder “Why doesn’t that person just be happy?”. It doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize emotions in others. I do and can be very empathetic, but I don’t have to feel it with them. I have learned what the expected responses are and how I can seem caring and helpful during those times. I help them get over their troubles and then everything would be great again. I would be safely behind my walls the whole time, yet considered very understanding and empathetic. Now those walls seem to be much shorter and so I cannot keep all the emotions out. Once they get so high the emotions just pour over the top of my wall, filling my secret room. Once in there it is hard to get them out, they just become a mess. The slosh around and make it hard to function. The good thing is that I can usually keep it all in and out of view from the outside eye. I slowly drain all the feelings away and make myself whole again.
I know it does not sound like the “healthy” way of dealing with everything, but honestly I have decided there is not a “healthy” way of doing it. Nothing seems like a better answer because I don’t want to have to feel everything. I like the control. I need the control. I need the nothingness to have everything I want.
I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.