Take me, I’m existentially yours (or, crisis—what crisis?)

This essay appeared as an “On the Avenues” column on January 1, 2019. For those reading from afar, be aware that in metro Louisville, it is Kentucky Derby Day, which slips just behind Halloween and Oktoberfest as an adult costumery “dress up” holiday, with the primary difference being that during Derby, people seem prone to the belief that what they’ve chosen to wear are not costumes. 

As a new year dawns, I’m existentially yours.

According to the dictionary, an existential crisis is a psychological episode in which a person questions the meaning of their life, and of existence itself.

Okay, but to me the word “episode” is misplaced because it implies an exception to the everyday, and an event occurring rarely or even randomly. I firmly believe that for most of us, an existential crisis is ongoing and everlasting. “Episodes” are those special times when we’re able to ignore this existential condition, and for a short while at least, to enjoy a little peace.

Since you’re probably already jumping to conclusions, kindly heed the advice of Archie Bunker and stifle yourself. I’m not depressed or morose, merely surprised at anyone being so sure about the meaning of life that...Read more