Saturday, October 7, 2017

When I die, I will go extinct...

Yesterday, I ran across an interesting and rather profound post on RfM.  A poster asked "What's the point of living?  Why bother?"

The poster got some interesting responses.  Some of them were quite poignant.  Some were funny.  Some were kind of scientific.

I have often pondered this question before myself, mainly because even though I have a pretty good life by most people's standards, I don't often enjoy it that much.  I feel like I don't have much of a purpose.  I mean, I do have a good time and I do have loved ones, but I'm basically just kind of existing here, writing my blog, tending to my dogs, making music because I'm bored... and yes, annoying a lot of people.

Lately, I've been giving some thought to how much I would enjoy living out in the woods.  Bill and I had that experience briefly when we lived in Georgia.  We rented a huge house that was situated on an eight acre wooded plot.  Although the house was neglected and had a lot of problems, it was the prettiest house we've lived in to date and, for many reasons, we did love living there.  If there was a chance we could have stayed in Georgia, maybe we would have tried to buy it and fix it up.  It was a lot of house, though... over 4000 square feet and about five levels in total.

What I liked most about that house was the awesome back porch that overlooked the woods.  We could sit out there and drink beer or wine and watch the wildlife.  Although we had neighbors, we couldn't see their houses most of the year because of all the trees.  I would love to find another house like that one... a smaller one in better condition.  It was a nice place to be.  Nobody bothered us except for the odd Jehovah's Witness.

If we ever did own such a place, it still wouldn't answer my query as to what the point of living is.  For me, personally, there doesn't seem to be a point.  I am the daughter of people who didn't really want me to exist and seemed to have raised me out of duty.  They came to appreciate me and, I'm certain my mom loves me.  She just told me repeatedly that she thought she was "done" with kids before I came along.  She wasn't, obviously.  Here I sit.  I am the last one in my particular family line, because I haven't had any children.  When I die, I will go extinct.

I used to be pretty sad that I won't have anyone following me.  It's kind of the story of my life, though.  Even when I was in a women's music fraternity in college, my so-called "family line" ended.  One of my projects in that group was to create a "family tree" of all the big sisters and little sisters and grandmas.  Since Sigma Alpha Iota was chartered at my college back in 1959, there were a whole lot of sisters who came through.  I did the project mostly by hand, writing to the sisters and asking them for their memories about being a member of the Gamma Kappa chapter.

I got a whole lot of responses in the form of letters, including one from my own cousin, who was a member a few members before I was.  They wrote fondly of their time at Longwood and in SAI.  I was able to piece together a family tree based on their responses.  I managed to go pretty far back toward 1959, although I don't think I succeeded in going all the way back.

I had two "little sisters" myself... and I also had two "big sisters".  The two women who were my "big sisters" shared me so they could cut costs.  Big sisters were expected to make binders for little sisters so they could learn all the pledge material.  They often bought gifts for their little sisters, too, although little sisters would buy gifts for their big sisters.  I was pretty generous with mine, although I couldn't really afford to be.

Unlike a lot of the others in that fraternity who would end up being close friends with their big and little sisters, I was not all that attached to my two big sisters.  I am still in touch with one of them, though we were never particularly close.  The other one barely acknowledged me and we lost touch.

Then I had two little sisters.  The first one mainly joined SAI to pad her resume.  Although I tried to be a good big sister, we never clicked.  She is long out of my life.  Then, she had a little sister who de-initiated.  I don't remember exactly why.  I think it was because of money.  I am still in touch with her, too, but she quit, so my line died.  My other little sister joined a semester before she started student teaching, so she never had a little sister.  She is still a very good friend of mine, but in terms of SAI, my "family line" died twice.

Years later, I married Bill and I thought we'd somehow end up having kids, even though he got snipped when he was married to his ex wife.  When the Army reversed the vasectomy, I thought that was a sign that I wouldn't end up childless after all.  Pregnancy hasn't happened and it looks very much like I won't have any kids.  I can't say that definitively yet, since my body hasn't yet shut down its reproductive capabilities.  However, it does look like there won't be anyone coming after me with any of my unique DNA.  I managed to break the mold.  Maybe it's for the best.

I am basically sitting here thanks to a cosmic accident caused by two people who were basically having some fun in the sack sans protection.  I'm not sure if my presence was necessarily needed or noticed.  Once I'm gone, I'm going to be gone.  Maybe that's not the worst thing in the world, though.  Every year, it gets more disturbing.  Despite living a good life, I continue to wonder why I'm here and if I have a purpose other than to consume things and annoy people.  With my luck, it'll be a long time before I go extinct and no one will be at my funeral.  But if Facebook still exists, maybe people will mourn me online.

Bill often mentions that there are a lot of "alternative realities".  In a different world, I might have made different decisions and ended up in a completely different life.  Maybe if I had gone to Nashville instead of Armenia, I might be a musician instead of a blogger.  Or, I might have met some guy who charmed me, knocked me up, and left me somewhere in eastern Tennessee or some place like that.  Maybe in another world, I would have entered a Christian chat room instead of one affiliated with a porn site.  I might have met a different man and ended up in a totally different life.  Or, maybe I was destined to meet Bill somehow and live the life I'm leading... which again, is not a bad life at all.  But it's not what I expected.  Maybe I'm an old soul and this is my last hurrah.  Maybe when I die, I won't come back.  Or maybe when I die, I'll just rot beneath the earth.  Time will tell.

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