Trying to Find Meaning at 11:34 PM

Alec Zaffiro
2 min readMay 7, 2020


There’s something inside of me that yearns for meaning.

I’m not special in saying that.

Everyone wants meaning.

But right now I’m sitting here thinking about how badly I want meaning.

I’m taking the time to address it and care enough to sort through it.

So maybe this means I want it a little bit more than the person not putting in that same effort.

I don’t know.

Then again, I don’t always seek meaning. Who do I think I am? There are versions of me that are absent, inattentive, and whimsical. I know there are.

It’s funny, the thought of me being whimsical makes me happy. Like I know there are moments when I smile and I can’t tell I’m smiling.

Sometimes I wish I could zoom out and experience me being carefree from a far. Because in those moments I’m in those moments. And I’m not caring about what I look like or the impression I’m making or the thoughts coming in and out. I’m just being and I wish I could see the version of myself that’s there — that’s really, fully there.

I get confused, too.

It doesn’t make sense. I think meaning comes from being so engaged in something you don’t even realize what you’re doing. You’re not thinking about the fan whirling above your head. Or the pimple on your forehead. You’re present and you’re present because there’s meaning and it matters.

The opposite of that is detachment. Which is also something we often seek strangely enough.

Engaged and detached. Why are those actually similar.

There’s a level of carefreeness in both, right? So engaged you care about nothing else. So detached you care about nothing. I guess “else” is the difference. The level of awareness is narrow and low under both though.

I desire to be enveloped in something so meaningful though.

Sometimes I think I’m an idiot for wanting more out of my life. And I get scared because part of me knows I’ll never be satisfied with anything ever. That’s the human condition probably. We always want more; we always want exactly what we don’t have.

15 months ago I had no friends, lived in a broken home, couldn’t find a job, and had no direction in life whatsoever. I was lost.

Now my life is exactly everything I could have asked for in that moment and I still want what I can’t/don’t have.

It just makes me wonder if we ever really “find” meaning. I think it’s there, but it’s in those moments where we’re unaware.

Today I had a lot of time. And I think part of me’s aware I’m not fully engaged in meaning.



Alec Zaffiro

I write to think and organize my ideas. I like psychology, philosophy, and self-improvement—em dashes are my specialty. Not an expert.*