A Ghostlike Happiness

Sometimes I don't know if I'm happy or not.


Sometimes I don't know if I'm alive or not.I can feel my heart beating.


Sometimes it feels like a hummingbird in my chest, flapping its wings so fast that no one else can see them move at all -- although sometimes when you put your hand on your own chest and close your eyes real tight, maybe you'll be able to feel the beat of someone else's heart too. And sometimes it feels more like an elephant stomping around in there -- slow and steady but with enough force behind each step that whole buildings shake as they pass by outside (although even though we're talking about two very different types of animals here, the comparison still doesn’t really seem right). But either way you slice it, this thing inside me is definitely moving around somehow.


What it means to be alive is a question I don’t think anyone can really answer for sure. Sometimes I feel like a ghost, or maybe more like an echo of something that happened long ago but isn’t ever going to happen again (although this is the only life we get and so it must be important somehow).





I don't know what else to do sometimes except try my best not to let myself see how scared I am all the time -- which is easier said than done because when you spend your whole life being afraid then after awhile it gets pretty hard to even remember what normal feels like anymore, if such a thing even exists at all. And also there are certain problems in life where trying harder doesn’t seem likely to help much either -- although just knowing that might make me feel better anyway since now at least instead of feeling hopeless about them too, it would just be another problem on top of everything else already happening instead (which does actually turn out surprisingly close sometimes). It probably won't surprise you when I tell you these are often some of the same questions people ask themselves every day: Who am I? Why was I born? What happens after death? What will become of me after my life is over?





The answers to these types of questions can be hard to find sometimes -- although it’s also true that even if you do know the answer, maybe nobody else will ever believe you (although other times people might think they have all the right answers but later on discover they were totally wrong).


Sometimes I feel like a ghost because there are so many things I don't understand. Why was my dad always drunk and mean when he got home from work each night? Where did he go after dying in his sleep one summer afternoon while we were having an outdoor barbeque for Memorial Day weekend?


How can an evolutionary system that seemingly values consciousness and the capacity for love also produce a species capable of mass-murdering its own members without hesitation?


When I think these thoughts, I feel the most like a ghost compared to any other time. Sometimes it feels like I'm watching everything happen to somebody else instead of me -- although this is a trick your brain plays on you sometimes when you're scared, where even though the things that are happening aren't real anymore because they've already happened and now you only remember them in your mind, somehow inside yourself it still seems like they’re really happening all over again (although if asked about any specific moment from my past or future life I could tell people exactly what happened without having to think too hard).


Sometimes the whole world can seem so big that nothing matters at all. Sometimes there's no reason for anything to ever exist at all except random chance -- which doesn't seem very likely since almost by definition random means something lacking an intelligible pattern or purposeful design.

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