Being Sisyphus

Have you ever heard about the greek myth of Sisyphus? A guy who is damned to push a huge boulder to the top of a mountain. Every time he’s about to hit the peak, it falls down and he has to restart. Among greeks (and for centuries) it was known as an unfruitful task, since he could never get to the top, he never got  anything out of it.

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Now you may ask “why am I bringing up such a dispiriting persona of greek mythology when I can be talking about Athena, Hades, Areas and other cool mainstream gods everyone knows solely due to Percy Jackson series.”

Because lately, I’ve been feeling alot like sisyphus.

The whole of my last year (Junior year is now officially over) has been wild ride, and not a very amusing one. I don’t think twice when I say it has been the ‘most horrific’ year my life, even worse than middle school, and that’s saying something! However, I feel it has really transformed me. I was in a really bad place 4 months ago. But from that endeavor I have turned myself into something better. Version 2.0 of myself, others would say. Much more driven, fitter, productive, and goal-oriented. But even with all of my “accomplishments” I sometimes feel unhappy. I ended up taking up this mind set where if I completed a goal, I am not happy with it. I am not happy with myself because instead I am looking at the next goal. For example, if I finally got myself to be x amount of marks, I am not happy because now I want new goal of getting x + y more marks and that I haven’t reached. And this train of thoughts is discouraging in its own way!! To the people outside looking at me, they think the changes that I have made are great. They think I’m better than when I was down 4 months ago. But in my head, “Yeah maybe a little better but in the end, I am still not the best”. And ‘oh my god’ do these thoughts drain me out, physically and mentally. Now that i’m done with my exams, I sleep till 10.30 am and still wake up tired. It’s almost like my brain is trying to tell me “Listen, Sanna i’m tired of all thoughts, just give me a break.” I feel like a wind-up toy, whose spring has been rotated to the extreme but isn’t being let go. overthinking-gif

So here’s a question I ask myself, out loud for the very first time, “Is happiness actually a stipulated destination?” or am I just draining myself out unnecessarily. I think having new goals is healthy and good. But happiness is not a destination, it’s a passing acquaintance. If you’re way too obsessed about your future and don’t look at your surroundings, life will pass by in a moment and you’ll have nothing left of it. However, my mind is just cannot take in this idea. So the existential crisis continues.

You know, French philosopher Albert Camus was the first one to suggest we should see Sisyphus as a happy man. Basically, he has a task and he enjoys performing it. Even if he can’t reach the mountaintop, he draws joy from the journey, not only the achievement. Only if we could accept this reality.

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“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” – Albus Camus

So, I guess, in a way I’m happy too. I just don’t see it that way.

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Sanna Kapoor

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5 thoughts on “Being Sisyphus

  1. I know this doesn’t quite fit this post but I had to try!! I’m currently 16 (17 in September) and I am thinking of moving from Spain to Dubai as my father lives there. I’ll be going from the 6th to the 15th of June on a mini trial/holiday. Would you recommed Dubai for a teenager? What are your opinions? Should I move? Thanks in advance!!

    1. I’m very sorry for the late reply, I’ve been caught up with tons of work. Well, to answer your question, I absolutely love living in Dubai. I feel very fortunate to have grown up here ( 10 years and counting) There is alot to do here for teens. It is a safe environment. Dubai is the melting pot of various cultures so you will find people like you, and people not like you, but i assure everyone here is warm and welcoming! There are tons to places to go and hang out (you will notice that when you make a trip here) To sum it up, yeah I do recommend Dubai for a teenager. I feel that you consider Dubai strongly with a very open mind. I understand how difficult leaving your home and moving to a completely different atmosphere can be. I had to do the same when I was younger, but it has made all the difference in my life. However, these decisions are subjective 🙂 Good luck making this decision, but I really hope you like it here.

  2. HI Sanna! This is the geeky Murdochian you’ve met long time back in some school fair. Anyways, I must say I’m very impressed with your blog and especially your talent in writing. This particular article is very …. hmmmmn.. philosophical I must say with a modern twist. And I can’t believe this is written by that young girl I met – I mean it as a compliment. I guess I have to hang out in your blog more frequently now. Cheers!

    1. Your words really mean alot to me. It was my school where we met. I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs too and commented a couple of times.(I see you have re-designed) Some of them are very graphic I must say. But seriously, I often find myself thinking so much and it’s so liberating writing here. Comments like these really encourage me the express myself more. So seriously, Thank You.

      1. 🙂 No worries. Write more. For me I write when I am on the extremes of my emotion and the output would be great most of the time. Yeah.. I tend to be too graphic sometimes… that’s just my writing style and I am a nurse by profession so these things aren’t big deal for me (I hope for my readers too.) Censorship takes away all the fun.

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