I once thought I was an existentialist. Existentialism meant my existence was based in anxiety and meaningless. Anxiety, because I had no idea what I was doing here and what my life should be. And meaningless because there seemed to be no direction or reason to live. I used to be an existentialist. I believed the religious books and their prophecy that we are all tested on Earth, and each action we take will lead us to some destination. The problem was I could never decide what actions were right or wrong and what destination I’d be going to when I die. That only lead to more anxiety about life and my day to day decisions, always judging my decision by the fallacy of ‘what would jesus do’. When I reflected on my experiences and what they meant, there was no real lesson or morals. I lived to die and hoped that one day, it would all make sense.
And I can’t get rid of my philosophy without grabbing on to another, but I was very certain that “the essence begets the existence” of these metaphysical notions of anxiety and such, but my life’s direction says elsewise.
I think, and I know that I have lived my life wholly based on past experiences, not lessons I’ve learned from books.
But what do these experiences mean in the overall breadth of humanity? Not a damn thing, because they only matter to me.
Maybe Sartre is right. Existence before essence.