Every week, New York City’s own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.
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I’m done. Finished. I’m just over everything. When I was a kid, I thought being adult would give me a place in the world where I could accomplish something and life would be what I thought it could be. Instead, all I’m learning is that getting through life in this world sucks and isn’t any easier or fun than it was before. I’m more disillusioned and exhausted than ever. I don’t want to be bitter, but I feel like I’m seeing life for what it is: A hopeless mess of endless obstacles. Living day-to-day in this frame of mind has made me give up hope for the future or for myself. I used to be a happy and optimistic person. Now I’m just mad and tired. What happened?
Yours in despair,
Help Me Be Positive
Dear Help Me Be Positive,
The belief that living is supposed to be easy is one of the greatest misconceptions about life. The idea that living is primarily about “getting through life” with minimal pain, minimal challenge, or minimal effort is completely untrue. So it’s only natural to feel disillusioned once we realize that life never really gets “easier,” but instead gets more complicated and more challenging. But behind this difficulty is the beautiful fact that we’re supposed to get more resilient and more capable of living because of these struggles.
Resilience and strength don’t come without growth, and growth doesn’t come without pain and effort. Most of us don’t really feel like putting too much effort into anything because it’s tiring and hard. It’s easier to not try and then complain about things not going our way. But even the laziest among us realizes that it takes some kind of real inner effort to extract a meaningful life from our existence. We like to think that fulfilled people just lucked out in an unfair world that cheated us. But people who truly attain happiness have earned it, and there’s no other way to get it. True happiness doesn’t come from relinquishing responsibility or waiting for some windfall of good fortune. Real happiness is gleaned through a lifetime of making conscious decisions to improve one’s self through a tireless devotion to growth. It is the hardest thing in the world.
Photo by Mario Dane