Tag: david foster wallace

On the “Skull-Sized Kingdom” and Life Purpose

I’ve been thinking too much about the purpose of my life. Too many days in the past I’ve found life meaningless, so I have searched for answers in books like I usually do.

A long time ago, I took a creative writing workshop at my local community college, and one of my professor’s recommended reads was David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water” address. (I read it again, since I first read it five-ish years ago.) Wallace says that learning how to think, “means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.”

He also talks about the “boredom, routine, and petty frustration” that come from day-to-day adulthood. I thought of concrete examples of this in my life such as the boredom that can surface when teaching the same lesson to my fourth class of the day or how about my sometimes petty frustration with traffic.

You’d think that I’d have life figured out by now.

To give you an idea of the extent of the meaninglessness I can sometimes find in life, this June, I found myself looking for books about life purpose despite having a degree and a job. You’d think that I’d have life figured out by now.