Kristin Tieche: My “Meaning” of Life

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 11.31.33 AMIt took me a long time to come to terms with it. And when I tell people how I feel, they usually A) think I’m joking, or B) try to convince me otherwise.

But I’ll have none of that. When I made this realization a few years ago, I felt so liberated and free. I felt elevated and enlightened.

Q: What is the meaning of life?

A: Life on earth is meaningless.

How did I come to this realization?

Maybe it’s because my cat never asks this question.

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the show at the planetarium too many times.

Maybe it’s because the daily news is too hard to take.

Maybe it’s because I’m totally ok with knowing that we really don’t know anything.

All these political systems we’ve created. All the faiths we decide we believe in. All this work we think we have to do. All these numbers that supposedly measure our value in this world.

All meaningless.

Meaningless to the laws of nature. Meaningless in the expansiveness of the Universe.

Why should my human life having meaning, but that rock over there have no meaning? Or that drop of water that evaporated? Or that tree that has become scratch paper? Or that pig that you call bacon?

Nature always takes its course, and responds accordingly to however we humans have modified the world over the millennia. Nature never asks why we do anything. Never asks why we exist. It just keeps going. The Earth keeps rotating and revolving and will keep on doing that whether I have a million dollars or zero. Whether I write my novel or binge on Netflix. Whether I find true love or die alone.

And what is this planet we live our lives on but a tiny speck floating in a vast expansiveness that we know almost nothing about? Scientists can’t completely explain what the universe is, and if it has a beginning, middle or end.

When I finally came to terms with my non-­‐meaning, it was as if the weight was suddenly lifted. I was free to do whatever I wanted, and I no longer had to make sense of my surroundings, or do something with my life. I simply had to be like nature, and exist. I just had to keep breathing, and wake up the next day.

I bring this feeling of liberation to every moment. If I am here, alive, with a conscience, then I must experience this existence to its fullest. Every moment, until I’m gone.

Yes, I found the holy grail, and it’s empty. But that’s ok. There’s a beer over there with my name on it.


~Kristin Tieche is an award-winning filmmaker and editor. A natural storyteller, she is versed in broadcast television, film and digital media alike.

Copyright © 2015 Excellence Reporter

Categories: Digital, Excellence, Film, Media

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2 replies »

  1. Patrick! Thanks! I have always been a big fan of existentialists! I loved Myth of Sisyphus and Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Also Simone de Beauvoir, Beckett and of course Sartre. “Hell is other people” – probably why I live with my cat! I also draw a lot from Taoism and the concept of being and non-being. Both philosophies, when I discovered them as a teenager, were life-changing. The meaningless discovery happened in my 40s though. Maybe it was the moment where it finally hit me! 🙂


  2. Kristin, what you are speaking of is what Camus, Sartre, Jaspers and others have struggled with. That is, that the physical universe does not “care” what we do in a conscious sense; it simply “is.” What we do, what we think, what we plan – all of these things are fine, but they are not effectual, generally speaking, on the existence of our exterior, natural world. The existentialists realized that it forces us to find our own meaning in the world, both the meaning of ourselves, and a meaning we can frame in an indifferent universe. In a sense, when we begin our existential journey, we do not see ourselves as we truly are, instead we use hopes and dreams to construct a version of ourselves that we hope will one day come into existence. Sartre said, “Human reality transcends itself toward a particular being which it would be if it were what it is. It is a continuing coincidence with itself which is never given.” This is what striving is; that in the striving itself there is a particular kind of existence, a particular kind of nature. We strive. Nature does not.


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