Existentialism, according to the good Dictionary.com is “a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts”. Sounds pretty lofty, huh.
To me, it seems to be more about how you live your life. What, exactly, is the difference between living and existing? Am I living or am I existing?
It would seem to me that living is about bringing meaning to your life. You do exactly what you wish to do. You feel that you belonged in whichever part of the world that you are living iYou you find meaning in the things that you do, a sense of purpose, a feeling of motivation. You revel in the affection of loved ones and reciprocate their feelings. You hope and dream and work towards these hopes and dreams.
On the other hand, existing is less exciting and more mundane. When you exist, you are breathing and alive. You fight for the same air as everyone else. But when you are merely existing, your life ceases to have a direction. You are merely floating on an empty ship, going wherever external forces push you to. Everyday, you wake up, go to work, get stressed/tired/annoyed/hungry, get off work, go home and go online/watch TV/read. And this would repeat itself over and over again. You once had hopes and dreams but they have faded to being blurred and hazy pictures.
Can one ever make the jump from existing to living?