How we can restore meaning to our lives in this godless, isolated, nihilistic age

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Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

This is the most hopeless age humanity has ever faced. Modernity is distinctly nihilistic. In the past, there was always some unifying factor. Religion, political views, nationalism, community: these things created a common thread through which individuals could feel meaningful.

All of the above are quickly disappearing. Such a disappearance is, in many ways, wonderful. Progress is vital to bettering society, and it is through realization and open-mindedness that we are reaching conclusions coinciding with this decline. But it has its downsides.

Depression rates have been rising for years now. Such a complex issue isn’t easy to connect to one…

How a scene in a book challenged my sexually enlightened attitude

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I’ve had sex. Not a ton, but not not a ton either. I figured I’d overcome any uncomfortable feelings around the subject at this point. Knowledge is power, right?

I’m a pretty progressive guy. I fully support destigmatizing sex. It’s all just a weird set of rules that trickled down from antiquity. I acknowledge the strangeness of our fear around the body. Hell, my little sister is a stripper, and when my parents found out, I spent months explaining to them why they should be ok with it.

In theory, I’m about as comfortable around sex as a person could…

Learning to live with ambiguity, and finding solace in tomorrow

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Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

I dated someone who tore out my beating heart, drank the blood from it, then dangled it in front of me so I’d do what she said. She gaslit me when I cried because I felt unloved. She cheated on me and made me feel like I was crazy for being suspicious.

I didn’t learn about the cheating until after the breakup. For months I hated her. I couldn’t believe the fact that she’d abused me, made me feel like I was the toxic one, then started f*cking the guy I was worried about. In hindsight it was obvious. …

It took me 24 years and a global pandemic just to feel things

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Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

I’ve spent a majority of my time on this earth justifying. Whether it was justifying my taste in clothes, my opinions, or my favorite coffee shop, I needed reasons. I hunted reasons like a predator, always hungry, always needing more.

Eventually, this hunger lead me to philosophy. I wound up getting exposed to existentialism, which basically says that there can be no meaning in life aside from the meaning we give to it. That seemed to explain the empty void I couldn’t fill. I agreed with it, at least intellectually.

Yet I continued to live as though I could figure…

Why your low self-esteem hurts everyone around you

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Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

I’ve struggled with my self-esteem my whole life. I felt extremely undeserving and fundamentally flawed for years. What a horribly selfish way to live.

Now that I’m in a better place, I can reflect on my self-disgust. On the surface, it was simple. I hated myself because I thought I was no good. It was a basic, self-contained phenomenon. But, as with most things in life, expanding our limited view of things provides vital insights into their deeper nature.

So what is self-hatred really? Why do we develop these horrible patterns when evaluating ourselves?

The origins of self-hatred

It's safe to assume most people…

How philosophy can help you find authentic love.

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Photo by Robbie Herrera on Unsplash

When I first started studying philosophy, I became intoxicated with existentialism. It seemed to speak to every angsty feeling I had, validate every sneaking suspicion that nothing was really worthwhile and that everything was arbitrary. As I’ve matured, I’ve realized that this negative evaluation of the philosophy is a shallow interpretation. Existentialism has so much to offer in the realm of positive realization, about the depth of feeling and the meaning available to us if we will only decide to create it. It is in the spirit of righting some of my former misinterpretations that I want to discuss one…

How stumbling upon the possession of a man I never met gave me hope for our age of loneliness.

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Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

My uncle Tom died young. He was my dad’s older brother, his mentor, and his idol. I never had the chance to meet him, but from everything I’ve heard, he was a very ambitious and curious man. My dad shaped much of his life around fulfilling Tom’s unlived legacy.

For a long time, this meant very little to me. I understood conceptually, but never felt much about the loss. After all, I never met the man. He was abstract, separate from me, an idea rather than a human being. That is, until Christmas.

My grandmother recently moved to a nursing…

My writing’s success has taught me something: I will never be a writer

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Last month, two of my poems made editor's choice lists on publications here on Medium. I got a short story accepted to a literary journal. My Medium views went up by something like 1000 percent. And I still feel like I’m not a writer.

I write every single day of my life. It doesn’t matter if I’m exhausted, didn’t sleep, have important things to do. It doesn't matter if I have to say no to my friends for the fiftieth time in a row. …

Why the painful life is also the most pleasurable

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Photo by Justus Menke on Unsplash

The last year has been the most agonizing in my life. I went through a major breakup with a verbally abusive ex, lost my dog, had my plans to move to Ireland and start an MA dashed by covid, and spiraled headfirst into an existential crisis.

It’s been absolutely devastating. And I’m thriving because of it.

While I am still scarred, battered, and bruised to hell, I am also the most confident, most driven, and most creative I have ever been. The damage I sustained cracked my shell. …

How this common writing advice can make writing harder and harm your mental health

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Photo by Arif Riyanto on Unsplash

“Write every day!” scream the hoards of internet authors. This advice is probably the most emphasized trope in the writing community. A quick Google search will provide dozens of articles about it. It’s everywhere.

Also prevalent are the articles pointing out the flaws in this methodology. I’m not here to simply rehash those points. Instead, I want to talk about something I haven’t seen discussed: how mentally taxing it is to write every day.

Writing is hard work

Writing may not be physically demanding, but it is nonetheless very difficult. Part of the issue is that creativity is a somewhat illusory thing. We can…

Bradon Matthews

Writer, model, flower child gone wrong. I write about the things I’ve learned; from great thinkers and from my own absurd life experiences.

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