If you’re anything like me, you’re slightly too cynical, perpetually suffering™, and get really weird when people start talking about death or the future because you always think about it too deeply and ruin the joke with your existential crisis. I still like to maintain an aura of liveliness and a wholesome personality, however, to deceive friends and family and be able to function as a decent human being. Here are some tips if you want to function semi-normally, too.
1. Accept your inevitable mortality
It’s a depressing fact but will also give you some motivation to get shit done, because you’re running out of time, fam.
2. Write utter trash
Your trash can either be an article like this, shitty poetry, short fiction that will make your ex-lovers text you “is this about me??” which is the perfect opportunity to send them back a link to Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain, an experimental hybrid screenplay, or an elaborate series of diaries that you’re convinced will be published after your death because you’re just that fascinating and iconic.
3. Stop eating microwave food that hasn’t heated properly
Seriously. Stop. You deserve better than having your tongue scalded one moment and then biting into a cold potato. Why can’t my left-over curried sausages just warm up equally proportioned?
4. Get a new hobby
Nothing says ‘productive, functioning human’ like learning how to sew your own clothes, cross-stitching a portrait of your unrequited love, playing horrible Oasis covers on a ukulele because you couldn’t afford a guitar, and getting really into baking.
5. Listen to Matthew Wilder’s Break My Stride
This is actually the best song in the world. Not really but it makes me happy every time I listen to it. Except it also reminds me of the time a PTV officer stopped me at Melbourne Central Station and booked me because my concession card had expired (I didn’t even know they expired??). Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride except fucking that.
6. Pat some dogs
Unless you’re allergic to dogs. If that’s the case, sucks to be you. Dogs are the actual human form of happiness. All they need is food and love and honestly, same.
7. Get involved in the gay socialist feminist revolution
You can’t be sad and existential when you’re planning the destruction of the patriarchy. Grow out your hair, get a facial piercing (tbh this is optional because I know piercings are scary and infections will slow down the revolution), adorn yourself in glitter and start radicalising your peers. Be sure to sneak some bell hooks and Simone de Beauvoir into everyday conversation.
8. Make more chill friends
My Number 1 Chill Friend is in South Australia right now which is probably why I’ve had, like, five existential crises since January. It’s important to have friends who aren’t as stressed and dramatic as you are, so you don’t just go hang out with people and wallow in shared misery. Chill friends are the best friends, because you can vent all your worries and have them tell you that it’s really not as bad as it seems. Usually they’re right.
9. Don’t disappear
Sometimes when I’m really stressed I kind of just want to leave my life and not tell anybody, throw my phone into the ocean and live out in the bush for a while until I’m hungry and desperate enough for attention. This solution is too dramatic and instead you should just remain present, have some time for yourself if you need it, deactivate your social media accounts if you’re addicted and it makes you feel shit, but don’t barricade yourself from society altogether. Let friends hug you, and you might feel better about existence.
10. Find a big pool of water and float in it
If you can’t swim then this probably isn’t the best idea, unless you know someone willing to teach you how to swim. That sounds cute and wholesome. Also, even if you do know how to swim, don’t swim alone. Make sure it’s safe and then go float in some water, on your back, with your ears under the surface, and listen to your breath. This is meditative, trust me.
11. Solve some mysteries
Specifically, what happened to Harold Holt??? Invest all your time in researching the strange 1967 disappearance, heckle politicians in Canberra because they’re not telling us the whole truth, organise a road trip to Byron Bay with your mates and then just drive them down to Cheviot Beach instead, and try to find the aliens that probably abducted him.
12. Make a zine and sell it at your local Woolworths
Woolies isn’t going to sell your zine for you, though, so just stand out the front and tempt customers with your 6-paged doggo zine.
13. Drop philosophy
If you’re studying philosophy, then this is probably the main factor of all your existential crises. Nobody needs to know the true meaning of life, or if souls exist or whether you should pull the lever and kill one person or three. Fuck. Thinking about that is too intense and stressful. Why are you majoring in it? Philosophy is for dead Greek men. Withdraw.
14. ReMemBEr WhO U ArE
Don’t go so off grid that you start having an identity crisis, too. I don’t have time to write tips for that. Remember who you are and what your dreams are. If you have no dreams, make some. If you honestly can’t remember who you are, start a new life in Iceland.
15. Don’t take my advice
Did you seriously make it to the end of this article? Wow, I’m flattered, but I’m also so underqualified. I only wrote this to procrastinate my Writing for Radical Theatre essay. Sorry if you’re feeling existential though. Getting a new hobby would probably work. Go to Spotlight and buy lots of cute craft stuff. Start knitting scarves for the long winter we have ahead of us. But also, stop taking my mediocre advice and maybe just listen to George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album (this isn’t mediocre advice, by the way, George is an existential saviour).
Until next crisis,