What existential crisis really means

Hanarum Imansyah
6 min readJun 23, 2022

When I was seventeen, I once wrote something in my journal, that goes like this:

FEELING FEAR: anxious for the future, insecure about the present, angry at the unsuccessful past

I have always been a girl who is full of worry. This is my third post on this platform, by now we should have already gotten through that statement. And as anticipated, five years later, I am now twenty one years old, and I still feel the same.

Just like an average adult living in a fast paced environment, as we grow old, we find it even more confusing to go through life. Somehow, we feel weaker than we are yesterday. The spirit of wanting to do great things is now a cycle, instead of an infinite curve, going up as time passes by. Sometimes, ambitiousness would strike. But other times, we have never felt so depressed.

Speaking for myself, I have lost almost entirely of my goal in life. And I am not talking about ordinary goals, like having a stable job that pays just enough to buy a house, or getting married by the age of 25. In my dictionary, ordinary goals like that are a necessity. (Not that I want to get married at the age of 25, but you get what I mean.)

The goal that I am talking about here, is the goal that are unusual. That other people have differently. For example, my mom has always wanted to go to the US, when she was young. So, she did. She got in to a prestigious student exchange program, when she was still in high school. Or like my brother, a simpler goal: he wanted to have a girlfriend, before college comes. He’s still pursuing that goal. Taking another example from my dad, if you haven’t caught on of what I am talking about, he wanted to buy a car. A car that he actually likes, instead of a family car. A brand new vehicle, that he’ll choose for himself, without having to consider any other human being that lives inside his house. And he did, he bought a Honda CRV, without asking for anyone’s opinion. Whether anyone likes the color or not, whether it was cheap on gas or not, whether it was not as cool as the other SUVs that might exist in this time of the year. He wanted that CRV, and he got it.

I dont have any goals like that anymore. I know, it shouldn’t be a problem. Anyone could get through the day, or get through life, without having any specific goal. And I did. I lived through that for months. My academic grades flunk. Lost contact with most of my friends. The ones I keep in touch with are the girls that lived in the same apartment as me. I felt as if nothing could disappoint me nor drive me, because I didnt exactly have any expectation about anything.

Sure, at some point, I feel very stable. But after a while, I got anxious again. Isn’t life just funny? Once you get to a certain point where you feel normal, you immediately feel empty. And if you are not great at being stable, the only direction you can go to is down.

I have an advice I can share to everyone who read this, though. So, at least all of you can leave this page with something that is actually useful. It goes something like this:

When you feel worried about something, it is because you are a responsible person.

Months ago, when I carried my life like a wind, going with the flow without anything to pursue, I was an irresponsible person. It means that I give zero shit about anything or anyone. And if you still don’t get it by now, it means that as a person, you fucking suck.

So, kesimpulan, or conclusion: If you have an existential crisis, that is good for you. Keep that as your weapon. Print it out in huge letters and stuck it in front of your desk, if you’re feeling extra. But fucking hold. on. to. it.

Or you will end up like me, and you are writing this to get your brain sorted out because you could not think about any single goal that you want to pursue in life. And all you do, is drool when you see people working hard to reach their goals.

I tried to think of something, but nothing came up. I saw my friends out here studying really hard, getting sad about having bad grades, and wished that I could become just like them. Nowadays, I looked at my flunking grades and didnt know how I feel. I just stare at them, and then close the tab. Five minutes later, I forgot that my grades even exist. And when I have to retake a class next semester, I’ll just say to myself, “Well, okay. At least I can be friends with the juniors now that I have the same class as them.” I am not even upset anymore. But the back of my head knows that it is not right.

Dont get me wrong, this post isnt about having no motivation. I know for a fact, that it’s not motivation that gets you there, it’s discipline. This post is about not knowing the ‘there’ that you want to go to. This post is about having and finding little sparks in life, that makes you feel alive, like a human. And things like this, sometimes doesn’t even need motivation or discipline. Like when my brother wanted to have a girlfriend, does he need to be motivated to get it? Does he need to have a reason why he should have a girlfriend? None of my family members even care if he was single. I bet neither of his friends does as well, as a lot of them are also single. But, he just wanted someone that he could love. He doesn’t need to be disciplined about it as well, he just need to be good at finding opportunities that might exist in ordinary situations.

Unaligned with people who says I should take it easy, I don’t want to take it easy. I am in my early twenties. I am on the age where I should be dreaming and having lots of goals and then figuring it out. Some people might be okay, with sailing the sinking ship, but that is not me. And I hope that is not you as well. We should always strive to be a responsible person. A person who has something to look forward to, something to care after.

Or else, if you dont, again, you fucking suck.

If you could careless about being a person who sucks ass, then okay, you can continue being irresponsible. There’s you, and then there’s me. We could live side by side with our disagreement, because weeks ago, I was just a person who felt content with being irresponsible.

I am still figuring out what I want to do in life. Nothing really excites me anymore, to be honest. As much as I looked like a person who is easily impressed by small things. I feel very close minded, when it comes to the topic of life. I feel like there is still an abundance of things to explore. I guess that’s the only thing I could hold on for now: the curiosity in me, and that I had receive this sudden wake up call of wanting to change.

Maybe, just maybe, one of my goal is going to Japan. I have always seen the country from movies, but I have never actually went there. Maybe, that could be my goal. Although, nothing about it really drives a change in me. I am honestly satisfied with just seeing it from the little screen of my monitor.

Or maybe, my goal is trying every single sushi restaurant that exist in Jakarta. Because I just really really like sushi. Every kind of sushi. No sushi is a bad sushi.

The second one seems more promising. I might work hard so I can have more money to afford more expensive sushi.

Honestly, I don’t know yet.

But I promise I will figure it out. I have to. There is no other choice. Or else I will fucking suck.

Good luck for the both of us, I guess.

I hope all of us will always be a responsible person.