Saturday, May 22, 2010

Answering the Unanswerable

Lately, I have found myself spending a lot of time thinking, "what do I want?" You know, in a general "what-do-I-want-from-life" sort of way. For the most part, the answer to this ultra-ambiguous and pretentiously philosophical question has been, "shit, I have no idea."

Sometimes, the question is something simple, which leads to an actual answer. "Do I want a sandwich?" Why, yes, yes I do.

Sometimes the question is something complex like, "What are you going to do after you are done with your internship?" Which leads to the, "shit, I have no idea" answer.

Then, there is the third category of questions. The ones where I know the answer, and know what I want, but can't have what I want. This is, of course, one of the more troublesome conundrums of life. And one that everyone faces. Fairly often actually.

Take, for example, a friend of mine. (No this isn't one of those "friend" situations where I am actually talking about myself. This will become obvious in a moment because this example is so simplistic that I would have no reason to divert the attention from myself with that "I have a friend" crap. Point being, ignore this digression.) Anyway, my friend tells me that she has had an overwhelming urge to eat chocolate, ice cream, and possibly chocolate and ice cream simultaneously lately. The problem is, she is unable to eat chocolate and ice cream because she is on a strict no chocolate and ice cream (among other things) diet for health reasons.

The ironic thing is that, as she explained it, "I never really ate much ice cream before, but now that I can't have it, I really want some."

So what gives?

Is she just a crazy person? Well, possibly. But in this instance she is perfectly illustrating the point that human desires seem to be driven by things that we can't have.

Sometimes it is something small, like an ice cream cone. Sometimes it is something big, like a house. Sometimes it is a person (which, of course, is the first step to stalking. So just don't go overboard). Whatever the case may be, we become even more infatuated with our desires when they seem out of reach.

But why is this? Is it just some weird, "fuck you, you can't tell me what to do" mentality that all humans possess? That is certainly one explanation. I know that people trying to tell me what I can or cannot do is one of my pet peeves.

Realistically, there is no answer to why we want things that we can't have. I mean, if you ask Google, you get about a million different "answers" (most of them having to do with wanting to have sex with someone). Basically, everyone knows they want things they can't have, and everyone has an opinion on why they think they want things they can't have, but nobody can legitimately tell you why they want what they can't have.

The best explanation I can come up with, isn't really an explanation at all. See, the thing about humans is we are driven, at our core, by emotions. Not logic, but pure emotions. At the core of every decision is an emotional drive that may or may not be present beyond the subconscious. As much as we may want to think we can legitimize every decision or action with an explanation, there really is no way of doing so.

We become driven by wanting to answer the unanswerable.

The funny thing about that drive, is that in and of itself it is a desire for something we can't have.

People become so entranced by their desires that when they begin chasing after that person place or thing, and realize what they want is out of reach, they just want to know why. They were driven so wholly by their emotional desires, and the knowledge that what they want seemed to fit so perfectly, that when they can't have it, they just want to know why.

And that is an unanswerable question. Because even if they receive an answer that is logical, simple, and reasonable, it won't seem that way. It won't calm their emotions. Really, it won't seem like an answer at all.

They will still be left with their desires.

So, yes, maybe you can claim to have the answers. And, hell, you might even have a few. But in the end, you'll always be left wanting something. Because in the end, you will be left with unanswerable questions. Questions that will make you want the answer even more.

And like everyone, I have no answers. I can't really explain your desires to you. I can't tell you why you can't have what you want, and why that makes you want it even more. But I can, at the very least, tell you that I got through this entire post without saying "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."

Oh, damnit...

No comments:

Post a Comment