See existential crisis below

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

There is no true way to prove my existence. 

Everything I have ever said or done during the 21 years and two months I have “been” could be a fabrication of my imagination – or yours.  I don’t know if I am real. 

I don’t know if you are real.  I don’t know if the keyboard I am typing on is real, or if you can even read the words I am typing with it. 

I can look into a mirror and justify my existence for a brief moment that way, until I consider the possible nonexistence of that mirror. 

I can ask a complete stranger if they can see me too, but I could very well be talking to thin air. 

I can ask my parents to send a copy of my birth certificate, but there is no way of knowing whether or not they are real, whether or not the piece of paper is real or whether or not I was born physically and not mentally. 

I could be the side effect of somebody’s brain tumor, and that freaks me out a little bit.

I never really thought about any of this until now. 

I have thought about the possibility of an existence after life, sure.  The idea that one day everything will end, totally and completely, without my awareness of it even happening terrifies me. 

I am not afraid of dying.  I am afraid of not living after dying.  I don’t care if I am reincarnated as a manatee, doomed to haunt this newsroom for all eternity or destined for heaven.  I just cannot bear the thought of this life being it. 

There is immortality in nonexistence.

I don’t think I can actually justify my existence without living within someone else’s.

When I was a kid, I used to look out the window of my mom’s van and try to make eye-contact with the people we passed.  I vividly remember looking into the eyes of a boy that was about my age and wondering what he was seeing at that exact moment. 

He had a blonde bowl-style haircut, blue eyes and a red T-shirt. I wondered what he thought about having a blonde bowl-style haircut, blue eyes, and a red T-shirt on. 

I wondered where he was going.  I wondered who was driving him.  I wondered if he was happy.

Most importantly, I was wondering if he could see me and if he was wondering any of the same things about me.  If he didn’t see me, it could have been because he was zoning out and in a world of his own thoughts that I so deeply, and weirdly, wanted to experience as well.

Within a few seconds, I contemplated more about another boy’s life than I ever had my own. 

I know what you’re thinking: “Who hired this girl? What kind of weirdos work at The News? She took 4/20 a little too seriously this year.” The Editorial Board hired me. I am a proud, stone-cold weirdo. And wrong – never have I ever smoked marijuana.

I’m just a 21 year old thinking a bit too much about life.

Ever heard of a quarter-life crisis? You’re looking at one!

I’m going to graduate in about a year, so I guess it’s better I start questioning things like this now than when people expect me to act and think like a fully functioning adult – whatever that means.