Sunny Nihilism, Waiting For Godot, & The Might As Well Lifestyle

Taking back the negative connotation associated with the word "Nihilism" and finding a little light. 04.28.24

photo of a lit door shining on someone's forehead

“I can't go on. I'll go on” ― Samuel Beckett

I've been letting go as of late. Let's call it Sunny Nihilism. By definition, nihilism is the viewpoint that life is meaningless. Existence is futile. There is no real point to anything or anyone. We live...and die...and then...nothing. Sounds tragic right?

The term is often associated with extreme pessimism and radical skepticism. Without an idea of purpose everything starts to feel hopeless. But what if it doesn't have to be so bad? What if instead, the meaninglessness empowers us. It allows us to let go of the everyday stress and focus more on being conscious in the moment? You can stop leaning in on the flaws and minor stains. If there's no intended purpose for us being here, then we get to choose our own purpose.

Nothing Matters: So You Get To Decide What Does

If all of it amounts to nothing, then you get to decide what really matters in your life. Is it the relationships you keep? Is it skydiving in Nebraska? It doesn't matter because nothing really matters. There's no point in not living your life the way you want if that's the case. If rock climbing and self development means something to you, go for it. If photography of flat faced cats means the world to you, find the time, and go for it. You might as well right?

You get to decide what holds meaning because it's your life, because that's all there is. Outside of that there's nothing. In ten thousand years Bob Dylan, Oprah Winfrey, and Drake will be a sentence in a textbook. In a million years the earth may not even exist. So why not try to live more in the moment. Why not look around and appreciate whatever it is that makes you happy? Let go of the everyday bullshit that's cluttering your head.

It’s all a part of the human condition and the human construct: The inherent need for a greater meaning of it all.

There was a famous play written in the 1950s by a man named Samuel Beckett called "Waiting For Godot". The book had a profound impact on my life (hopefully yours too). It's a single-sitting type read so I highly encourage you to check it out if you haven't. It revolves around two main characters in the thick of an existential crisis; Waiting for something they don't fully understand. Their struggle to find some type of meaning in a world without answers is endless. They have their free will to do what they wish but yet here they are still waiting. Is it giving purpose? Is it giving meaning? Is it filling up time and space? It's Beckett's way of finding humor in the absurd nature of existence.

“We wait. We are bored. No, don’t protest, we are bored to death, there’s no denying it. Good. A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste....In an instant, all will vanish and we’ll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness.” -Vladamir Waiting For Godot

Beckett has a way of bringing humor to the nothingness. Isn't it better to laugh? We as humans are thrown into the darkness upon birth, we arrive with nothing but questions. What if you are capable of freeing ourselves from this battle? It'll take some time and practice, but it's possible. Catching ourselves in the moment is the first step.

Vladamir: "Let's go"
Estragon: "We can't"
Vladamir: "Why not?"
Estragon: "We are waiting for Godot."

The conversations are pointless in their nature. If we extend that further, we can then argue so are their lives. Oftentimes they are forgetful of happenings from the past. This also showcases if something can be so easily forgotten, then it mustn't hold much meaning or value. Again, this can be an extension of their lives. Estragon displays this when questioned about what Godot looks like. They are waiting for him, yet they can't even remember what he looks like.

Estragon: "Personally I wouldn’t even know him if I saw him."

The situations that arise in the book are examples of how absurd life can be. They are ridiculous in their nature, but at the same time, totally believable. The relatibility is what makes Beckett's play so powerful. We've all found ourselves in similar situations.

It's ironic that man has the best brain amongst all the creatures of the world, and still is the most miserable. He comes on the earth not to enjoy life but to suffer various forms of misery. Man being on an endless search for meaning in what appears to be an indifferent universe. photo of samuel beckett sitting

Finding Humor In the Ridiculous Nature Of Existence

Listen I get it. Life can be a lot. Being able to relish in the ridiculous nature of existence allows us to cope with life's uncertainties, challenges, and existential angst. It's important to be able to not take everything so seriously. Finding humor in the crises can be extremely cathartic. By laughing at how absurd life can be, people can find solace, connection, and some meaning amidst the chaos.

A real world example would be two people fighting in the comment section of an Instagram post about whether Guitar Hero actually makes you a better guitar player or not. I ask thee "Who really cares?". Is this fight really going to change anything? If your opinion is swayed and you now believe playing the game makes you better, are you going to go tell all of your friends and become an advocate for a new world movement? - Guitar Hero Activism? It's an instagram post. It's a fart in the wind. Also this is just boiling down to your opinion vs my opinion. Who really has the time? Well you could have the opinion that this is in fact not absurd, and that it does matter, and that you actually do have the time. And we can start on a whole new argument of nothingness! Ha! There! I think I did it again. Did I do it again? I must have. Maybe not. I'll go on.

I'll Go On...

We live in the Information Age, life is complicated and non-stop. Cell phones have become an extension of one's being. Never before have we had so many answers and questions at the same time. So set out to make the most of it all. Find humor in the ridiculous nature of life itself. It is true, accomplishing anything is always easier said than done. But hey everything is meaningless, including your life and mine, so there's really no need to stress right?. Get out there and live your best life. Push on and find your path to happiness.