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Are You Living, Or Just Existing?

Benjamin Franklin said "Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five." Do you think this sentiment is true -- that a lot of people are just existing in their life rather than really living it? Has this ever been true for you? What things do you do to try to bring new things, people, and experiences into your life?

Answers (25)

  • There have been many times in my life where I've felt like I'm existing rather than living, especially what with being on the wrong side of thirty, career aspirations I had in my twenties came to nothing. I've been led to believe that a lot of doors close after thirty, the implication being it's too late for me to start at something else, therefore I should be content to work at some dead-end job beneath me for peanuts until I'm seventy. Logically I know it's not necessarily so, but having job applications rejected is a lot more disheartening as a result. And not losing heart is easier said than done. When I am applying for a job I think I could plausibly get I feel more motivated, hopeful, alive. I also felt alive and invigorated and inspired when doing my Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing, though it definitely wasn't the most lucrative decision. I did make new friends and valuable contacts, however, and finished a novel which is currently in the edit/rewrite stage. I really need to make time to write more, work on this novel of mine, come back here a bit more and generally keep on writing. And in general I welcome opportunities to bring new experiences and things into my life, better myself and live. There have been times where I have felt depressed, unmotivated, apathetic - actual depression, or existential angst?
  • I think it's starting to become true. We are taught that going to school, going to college and getting a degree that's job ready, will give us a job and finding one easily. Colleges are just happy to take your money and not tell you the reality of the job market. I finally have a better job, but now I'm questioning am I right for it? I don't feel fully happy and I can't exactly figure why. So I feel half dead as of right now. And I think a few other people for my generation feels that working low-income jobs; where the workforce expects you to have all the work experience; yet may not want to pay you enough.
  • No, I think that today a lot of people are more like Bruce Willis, who said that he feels like he is still only twenty-five... To the person who asked about Ben Franklin, he was seventy when the Declaration of Independence was written and eighty-four when he died.
  • This may be true to at least some degree, but it also suggests that it is possible to die, then come back to life before being buried (or maybe even afterwards in another dimension or plane of reality) ;)
  • There is a good saying: you're happy when you are running to the work and hurry up to get home. When one of two (or both) are broken you drift to existence...
  • I live my existence. It's the same as saying living the life you want and making the most of what you have at the moment. Living a life will never be easy. It requires flexible strategies at all sort. My existence doesnt depend on anyone or anywhere. I depend to what I have at the moment. When you learn how to utilize whatever you have, you get to enjoy the existence and live a life.
  • In this context I think the different with existing and living is being happy. It's very individual thing but feeling happiness makes you feel fulfillness, and that's what I think living really is. I'm just not there yet. For some months now I have realized how empty I feel with my life. That's why I have decided to do other things, get out of the routine, doing things like traveling more, taking salsa classes, taking kickboxing classes and in the future doing more volunteering. I just don't want to open my eyes at idk what age and feel lot of regret because I didn't do much pursuit of my happiness.
  • Living and Exist
  • Existing - - - I exist now. I feed, sleep, talk, laugh, get angry, get happy once in a while... but never have I lived the way I want to be. For all I know, living is being you, living is being contented with what you have no matter what is your life's state at the time. Being stuck in a mundane routine like waking up, going to work, making love and then going back to sleep is something that makes a human trap in a box that is a mirage of life. I think people who really lives are the ones who live up in the Himalayas... the monks. I am not exactly dying now that I am on my midlife but I ain't exactly living. It's a case to case basis I guess because I know that other people are having it worse than me. But I don't have any plans on shaving my head, plan a migration to Nepal and freak my boyfriend out so I think I'll stick to existence for now, maybe someday I'll find my nirvana.
  • These days I think its more true now than in the past.. I was born at 40 and have been learning what life is all about for a very long time.. I live my life by certain rules. I mind my own business. Never lie. Always help people. Set a good example. Be willing to change. I have no guilty conscience or resentments and I smile a lot.. I'm genuinely happy.
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