What the Hell Makes Life Worth Living?

Maxfene
Oh hey there ;D

 

My name is Maxfene (for those of you wondering, it’s pronounced like Max {i.e. awesome to the max}-feen, it isn’t a foreign language, and I’m still looking for a badass definition to attach to it since it’s pretty much exclusively mine). I’m a 21-year-old writer, artist, singer and a lover of learning—seriously, it could be as ‘boring’ as why you love the color red, and I’m here for it. Information is my friend. I have a passion for passion. If I have a massive fault, it could be that I look too often with my heart and not my mind, or that I have hardcore commitment issues, or that I’m potentially too independent.

But that’s what humanity is, isn’t it?

Maxfene1
Me and my Mom in New Orleans for my 21st (#turnupwithyourmother)

I feel that since becoming an adult, I’ve felt less and less like one. I turned 19 and thought, to put it simply, “The time for fairy tales and dreams are over. I need to ‘pull myself up by the bootstraps’ and face life.” At 20 I realized my bootstraps weren’t strong enough to support me and who the hell wants to live hanging by their bootstraps anyway? At 21, I’m here. Writing. Singing. Drawing. Playing dress-up in my room with costumes made out of things dug up from the back of my closet. Looking for reasons to live.

I’ve had to ask myself this question a lot.

What is a life worth living?

This entire past semester and the semester before, I was living to work and working to go to school and going to school to find better work. It’s an amazing life, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s an amazing life if you know what you’re doing. It’s probably amazing if you’re brilliant enough to appreciate it. I happen to have none of those traits. From the beginning of this year especially, after dealing with loss and depression and exhaustion, I’ve had to search hard for something more.

It’s definitely true that it’s about perspective. If you only focus, for example, on all of the many negative aspects of working retail and the fact that you were hoping to have found a better job by now, you’ll perpetually have that anxious knot in your gut of ‘when is this going to change? I’m so tired of this. I hate my life.’

I’m sure you’ll be shocked when I say that can’t make for a very satisfying life.

It takes work to shape your mind from, “I don’t want to deal with the idiocy of retail” to, “I appreciate (note: I still can’t say I look forward to it) the smiles and the thanks I get when I help customers find what they’re looking for, and the conversations I can have with my coworkers when/if things go to shit.” Optimism isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. It doesn’t help that optimism has a pretty bad rep (but that’s a blog for someone else to write). It isn’t easy to let go of the negative; I think it’s a defense mechanism. We look for the worst so we can prepare for it—which makes sense, and it’s definitely practical within reason—but it’s worth the effort to change that mindset and find a balance.

After all, you can change your perspective, but it’s only half the battle.

I was going to school and working. You know, paying bills, pretending to be responsible. I’m taking a break right now, because it’s summertime, but I think it’s the perfect time to figure out how to incorporate the things I really love into my schedule. Things like drawing, creating stories, making music, and going on adventures. And it’s also the perfect time to start creating a different path for myself. Something that isn’t working someone else’s schedule on someone else’s dime. I might have to be satisfied with taking baby steps, but I can’t be satisfied with staying still.

To me, a life worth living requires action. Living in the moment, enjoying the journey, and appreciating every step, no matter how small, toward the future that you want. For now, I’m fortunate enough to say that’s all I really need.

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