When was the last time you questioned your existence?
For some, it might be a question that creeps up the balcony every 2 a.m. and for some, it might be a random uninvited question while taking a shower or walking a pet dog.
It happened to me a million times, and once again, at the restaurant.
I was sitting idle staring at the Restaurant chandeliers. The waiter asked me, “Your order Sir?” but I couldn’t reply because there was another question on my mind already, Why am I?
I thought about this inevitable question, “Why am I?” or to be less philosophical, “Why the hell am I here?” (not in the Restaurant but on this damn planet). I was desperate to know the purpose of my life, but the waiter didn’t give me enough time. “Your order Sir?”
It’s funny that I’m questioning my purpose after wasting two decades. But that didn’t worry me because millions have died and will die without an answer.
I realized that I, and many others, didn’t ask this question, maybe because we were given pseudo answers even before we actually asked questions. Isn’t it?
At age three, before we asked, “What am I supposed to do?” They said School. Before we asked, “What am I supposed to be?” They said Replica of X-Y-Z. And there comes a time when we realize that their answers weren’t right for our questions. But the threat is that it might be too late.
Is there really a purpose to life?
Sometimes, I wonder. Is there really a purpose to life or is it just to come and exit.
But logically, if it had no purpose, what’s the actual need of coming, in the first case. So, I’m convinced that there is a purpose.
But what’s that now? And how do I find it?
Can I ask the guy next to me about my existence? That will be foolish. If I don’t know why the hell I’m here, how can someone know it? And I strongly think that the poor guy next to me is also thinking to ask me about his existence.
Still confused with the question, I was staring at the Restaurant door. A stout guy walked in whispering to his wife, “I’m hungry.”
Eureka! Something rang inside my empty head. I could relate it to the question. My mind repeated, “Are we here because we’re hungry?” (Yes, the Restaurant or the life)
I realized something profound that if I assume this Restaurant to be a metaphor for life, I see people coming here when they’re hungry. Their only purpose is to satisfy their hunger. And what satisfies their hunger? We don’t ask the waiter, what should I eat? Do we? We make our own choice because only we know what satisfies our hunger.
It was a simple metaphor but hit hard on my head. We all come here, to life, with hunger—hunger in our hearts. The world, as I see, is the longest Menu Card ever made. It has more than just cheesecakes and oysters. It has, almost, everything. And we are here to choose. Of course, we need to pay for what we want to get. That’s where the fun is. Before we leave, we ought to satisfy our hunger. And that’s what the purpose of our visit.
Listening to your heart’s hunger might not be as simple as listening to your belly. But it’s essential. You can’t end up eating the food you don’t like. But that’s what you’ll be doing as a penalty for not choosing your own food. Know what your taste is. Know what will satisfy your hunger.
The saddest thing that could ever happen is when you walk out of the Restaurant, hungry and thirsty. If so, you missed the whole point of entering into it.
I smiled at the waiter and said, “I’m here to satisfy my hunger.”
He looked at me with an awkward smile and replied, “I know that.”
I’m not sure what did he understand. But for me, it was a little enlightenment.
The most difficult questions are those whose answers are just in your pocket. Or even close. It’s all around if you see.
Vinay Pittampally is a life-inspired writer. He’s extremely passionate about storytelling and the mysteries of life. He’s popularly known by the pseudonym Stable Wanderer. He believes that a writer, though sits stable on his chair, wanderers to every nook and corner of the world (outer & inner). Apart from writing, he’s an artist, graphic designer and an admirer of the good things that life has. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook and on his home site Stable Wanderer.
Image courtesy of Ali Yahya.