July 8th, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also write to try to put meaning into my experiences, and to be paid to do so sounds wonderful. This sounds like a charmed life:
Like many obnoxious teenagers who will go on to procrastinate through English degrees in college, I suffered a heavy Albert Camus phase in high school after reading The Stranger. During times of upheaval and significantly less traumatic change in my life, I find myself returning to the pattern of thought found in his work. Most recently, I’ve been thinking about The Myth of Sisyphus.
In the essay, Camus addresses the absurd—the idea that the world possess no innate meaning or logical pattern. Shit is just happening to us for no good reason. This clashes with the human desire for order and significance—surely shit is happening for some reason. In this, we have the absurd.
It is the acceptance of this absurdity, of the cruel randomness of the world, of the lack of satisfying answers to our questions, where the truth actually lies, he argues. If we accept the world has no meaning, we are freed of that worry, presumably with clarity of what we are now truly facing—nothing. It is in that acceptance where, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy,” Camus concludes. The struggle becomes the meaning we seek.
I remember sitting at home, just a few months into my Jezebel career, watching the chaos in Ferguson following the murder of Michael Brown. The world felt palpably different for me—uniquely difficult and sad and futile. Writing about it helped. It made me feel like even if I couldn’t summon a wave of change, the small ripple of my words was at least something—the struggle. I clung to that struggle even as my confidence in it waned.