I previously started a blog with a quote from Sartre. It wasn’t the one I wanted, but was what I found on the way to not finding what I did want. Today I found the one I was looking for in a NY Times crossword puzzle. The funny thing about the timing is that it picks up where my brother’s blog ends. I’m not copying him, really, though he is worth copying!
“I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating” Jean-Paul Sartre
I don’t know if that was the entire sentence. I don’t know its original context. What I do know is the sentiment. So many times over the years I have been disgusted with myself for failing to be perfect at one thing or another, before I became almost completely incapacitated. After this life-altering time I also was disgusted – sometimes to the point of nausea – with having no answers to my questions. Or being too stupid to hear or recognize the answers if they came.
I existed, one day after another. It seemed as though that was all. I didn’t know what I had done wrong to have this befall me. I was a conscientious mother, singer, Sunday School teacher, an ‘A’ student in college, volunteer choir director in one private school and paid, very part-time choral director in a small public school, and a rather contentious wife. Life was good!
And then life fell in on me. I hated the total dependence on others. I despised being unable to focus. I loathed being incapable of caring for my children properly. I missed being a musician/teacher/student. What I really mean is that I hated, despised and loathed myself for being an in-VAL-id IN-valid. As time went on I recovered enough strength to fight my way out of bed and almost always make it from living room to bathroom without help and without falling. Still the sense of being a failure, unworthy of even continuing to breathe, the self-loathing remained. It has been a long, painful journey out of the depths of despair, and I still vacation there. I’m not good with maps, and get caught in the folds but the dark trips are shorter every time although just as emotionally devastating while on them.
Over time I have discovered some things of value in me and can tell the little voices in my head to get lost, they are liars! There is a reason to get up in the morning.
Some days are peaceful, some boring, and some full of family and other good things. Those days don’t make me nauseous unless I eat too much or laugh too long, and I have a prescription for nausea. 😉
So I would say to Sartre, I too live, but there is so much more.