We journal our lives as though it would matter for much if we actually did. How many of us do not secretly wish that after we die (for some people, before) that our memoirs would suddenly be discovered and read worldwide, our insights in them receiving massive acclaim?
Wake up, sleepy mortal. You usually have to be famous before your thoughts would count to anyone who does not know you personally, and if already with fame you might easily find that it is now needless for you to do so, (writing to become famous) except perhaps you wish to write to change what it was you became famous for, which I can tell you is by no means easy.
Perhaps our journal keeping gives us a deeper sense of self, and by writing how we feel about particular situations we become more objective in making decisions. Unfortunately, most times we would already have made and executed a decision before writing anything down, and the things which we do write down, are in fact the occurrences in the aftermath.
Journaling may make us feel important; like our lives are worth more than they actually are (…cue passionate speech of religious perspective of a higher purpose ultimately bestowed upon every living organism by an omniscient creator). Creator aside, your fulfilment of that purpose is not guaranteed because you have to predispose yourself to achieve it, this being due to the captivity of free will and the limiting nature of choice. The hard truth is that your life is worth about the same as that of the homeless man you see, the main difference being the value people give you because of the utility that they derive from you.
In other words, you are only as important as your deeds. Separate yourself from your adoring fans or from people who actually care about you and then become, at best, a statistic. (Cue for self-important diatribe on how much more worth something your life is in comparison to other people’s)
Understand that if you cannot make the sun shine on a rainy day just by saying the word, then you’re a hopeless mortal like the rest of them: a parcel of blood and bones whose insignificantly short life in comparison to the eons of the earth rests in-between the cold complacence of the non-existence of pre-birth and death.
I will pause with the grimness a little, because I would be lying if I said that journaling could not be a lot of fun. It is like writing your own movie of your life just the way you want others to see it: Picture-perfect savvy individual who has a witty anecdote or wise saying written down for every daily occurrence, while conveniently omitting that these entries of the particular day had actually been thought up, say, about a week later, likely following some deep intellectual interaction with another person, and quite forgetting that the views which we eventually write had up till then been almost exclusively not our own.
Not to worry though, I heard somewhere that the greatest of artists are the best of thieves. And then I think to myself, what would be said of such a great person by the people of today? “…Now this is a man who sees what he wants and takes it. He does it without hurting anyone. Not because he can’t, but because he has enough skill to be able to have the choice not to. He is good at what he does and doesn’t have to cheat, and whenever he cheats you – the rare occasions that he does – you would feel instead that he has done you a favour. That man is a genius…”
Then an individual with a lot of time on his hands may journal about the essence of life and/or try to pseudo-scientifically find its purpose.
So what then is the purpose of life? What lies in the future?
That cannot be given a direct answer. One cannot casually assume the supreme position of knowing why he is here. What he or she wishes to be, perhaps. What they will eventually be, otherwise.
Each person’s life intermingles with other lives so that ultimately every person is directly or indirectly affected by everybody else. Affected in a way a person may not have desired; the doer and the receiver alike, but affected none the less of which consequences do fashion what a person ends up becoming.
Then one wonders “what if that had not happened” Then simply, a very different consequence would have occurred. The maddening fact is that we do not know that which would have happened in relation to that which did happen, but we can rest assured that something will always happen and that there is a future.
Perhaps there is no purpose in life since generations come and go. Perhaps life is a tool that we work with, or a piece of work that we shape to our own ends.
That should be it then. Within our current realities and our sphere of control we determine our own futures, consciously or unconsciously. We are given the power of choice, and we make our choices aptly or not shrewdly, but we must make choices. Even in my writing this I have made a choice. I could choose to stop now or I could choose to continue. I have to choose my words carefully to make better meaning. Each writer has his way, but all have the same alphabet within the language they choose to use. We have the same letters to work with, so also we each have our lives to live. We shape our lives in the way we speak and combine our letters. We make then, completely as our own future, the essay of life.
In the rare chance that the writings of an unknown do make them popular, do not be surprised, because he or she must have actually said nothing new. People might merely have grown tired of hearing from the same people and decided to try listening to what they already know being said from somebody else.
Lastly, we could journal because we are bored… and I can safely tell you that that is indeed partly what has driven what you have read so far, presumptuous enough as I am to believe that you would take the time to read it. But hey; written in boredom, perused in boredom… and we both have whiled away the excess time on our hands. A fair trade, wouldn’t you agree?