How Do You Do It?

To those people who wake up every morning ready to take on the day, how do you do it? I usually spend several minutes lying in bed upset that I regained consciousness. Sleep is the only respite I have from this repetitive, day-to-day monotony we call living. When I’m asleep, it’s like I’m switched off. Darkness and quiet. No thoughts, no dreams (that I remember), no acknowledgement of perceiving anything, just quiet blackness. And then… I wake up and that is all dashed to pieces. I’m switched on again. Bombarded by experiences and thoughts. Conscious of my breathing in and out.

I know what you’re saying: “you have a shitty job and no family, nothing to look forward to in the morning,” but I think it’s lower order than that. I’m not saying I don’t have a shitty job, I do… but to my way of thinking, all jobs are shitty. Merely trading your time for money that you just roll over into the bare act of living because you don’t have time for anything else (thanks to your job) makes all jobs shitty. The fact that society is based on a job system of economics – the mere fact that there are things like societies and economies renders things like jobs shitty. They all fit into the same absurd, meaningless, repetitive machine.

Digression aside though, my complaint is a lower order than say jobs, or families, and certainly something as complex as society or the economy. What I’m saying is that the activity of living in itself is sort of a prison of monotony. Day in and day out, the activity of being alive grinds oppressively into your mind. Respiring, eating, excreting, sleeping, waking, rinse, repeat. Every day gets absorbed into every other day until they all become one entity (which technically speaking, they are. A “day” is a made up measurement of time. Technically, it’s been the same “day” since the earth first formed and the sun first shone on it). “Same shit, different day.” Bullshit. Same shit, same day. Thousands of wake/sleep cycles in a human lifetime. Thousands of mastications. Thousands of pointless, forgotten conversations. Hundreds of thousands of breaths and heartbeats. Thousands of hours spent viewing the same surroundings, waiting for something different to happen. Filling your time with pointless activities, like a job, or reading, watching TV, playing games, having sex, all so you can try and distract yourself from the utterly hellish experience that is consciousness.

Sartre thought Hell was other people, and to some extent that’s true, but I think it’s much more accurate to say is that Hell is the activity of being alive.

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