Existentialism Is Your Life Preserver in 2020’s Sea of Angst

How you can emerge from sequester with purpose.

Brian Abbey
9 min readMay 11, 2020
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The most existentially anguished sigh you’ll hear comes from my chihuahua. Some days he strolls into the kitchen wearing his little black turtleneck sweater and smoking a Gauloise. He’ll give me a blasé look, sigh dramatically, and say, ‘L’homme est une passion inutile.’

I understand his angst better than his French.

I had my first existential crisis at age seven in Bible school class. That day we were told our only purpose on Earth was to serve God and our reward would be spending eternity praising Him with songs. The thought of my life’s purpose being admission to a never-ending church service made me uneasy. I sat in my little chair in my little pressed shirt and threw up a little vomit.

At age seven I decided existence was pointless. Currently, many people may have similar feelings.

What Is an Existential Crisis?

An existential crisis occurs when you feel overwhelmed or insignificant in the face of uncertainty or death, resulting in intense bouts of anxiety, despair, or feelings of meaninglessness. This type of angst, according to classic existentialism, is a natural component of the human condition and can be…

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Brian Abbey

expat, ex-philosopher, ex-entrepreneur writing on society, relationships, & AI singularities. VICE, Salon, & misc humor sites @brianabbey brianabbeywriter.com