Am I on the right track towards a meaningful life?
Like so many people of my age and generation, I am struggling to find an answer to this question. Even though I’m aware of the millions of people around me asking similar questions, this existential puzzle makes me feel lonely more than anything. After all, the idea that we carry individual responsibility for the value of our lives is terrifying and isolating. In the Netherlands, nearly 40% of the people my age feel lonely. Even if we’re surrounded by many contacts, it remains difficult to connect over challenges that feel fundamentally individual. But hard as it may be to find meaningful connections, as individuals we are absolutely incapable of deciphering the deepest of our feelings and desires, our self-worth, our definition of a meaningful life. We’ve all become who we are through interaction with others, and it’s by communicating that we can better reflect on ourselves and our own questions.
I’ve only truly begun to feel how important warm, friendly communication is to me, as I moved to a city and country where I know virtually nobody and do not speak the language, for the first time without being part of some prearranged social group. I have therefore decided to start writing about my thoughts and experiences here, hoping some of you will pick up your figurative pens and share your feelings in return. There will be no thematic consistency, but I’ll try to be consistent in being honest and writing from the heart.
Posts from 2018 and before are related to my volunteering activities for the European Solidarity Corps.