Giving Meaning To Things That Don’t Matter

Alberto Montalesi

I get high from assigning meaning to mundane things.

When I was six, I made my mom name every person I knew and every person who loved me one night before falling asleep — because even before having a total grasp on my multiplication tables, I was having mental breakdowns over the idea that I was just floating through life without any purpose.

I have always been scared of being average and of being normal. During the Low Periods, I fall into myself and am absorbed by the idea that nothing I’m doing actually matters. Do regular people worry about this? My only good drug story is about the time I took too much of an edible and then tried to call 911 on myself because I was so scared of dying at 20 without amounting to anything.

I just think that I seek too much validation from too many external things that actually don’t matter. I think that this friendship will save me or this relationship will help define me or this event will inspire me or this bus ride to Philadelphia will be featured in a documentary about me as the turning point in my life. Do other people expect too much out of everything around them? I know there’s that whole “Live for yourself!!!” empowerment movement or whatever, but what happens when you don’t really like yourself that much to begin with?

Is this getting depressing? [Insert cute joke here.]

Anyway, it’s all so silly and stupid and it causes me to overthink and be anxious about absolutely everything, and it reminds me of when I was growing up and my parents would rub my back before bed and tell me I was putting way too much pressure on myself — just relax, Katie — and everything will turn out okay okay okay okay okay.

But I don’t think I want things to turn out okay. I am so scared of being faceless and voiceless and powerless because I’ve wasted so much time dwelling on things that don’t matter. I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to make things that don’t matter actually matter, and I’m just waiting for the point when everything comes together and all the loose ends are tied up so I can scream SEE? SEE!? THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN DOING ALL ALONG!!!! EVERYTHING HAD MEANING!!! IT ALL MEANT SOMETHING!!!

But I don’t know when that time will come. And I don’t know if other people will ever see the meaning I give to things. To them, this is probably just a friendship or just a relationship or just something that happened or really just a bus ride. The word “just” hurts. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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