I studied a lot of philosophy in highschool & was drawn mostly to existentialism. Probably both for it’s paradoxical extreme bleakness & overwhelming hopefulness. I think it parallels in many ways w/ Buddhist thought (more on that another time?), & have definitely adopted many of the key themes into my own personal philosophy (perhaps a true existential philosophy is indeed one that is uniquely your own).
In Existentialism & Human Emotions, Sartre makes the point that everything is a choice. Like the religious man who feels he has received a sign from God, & is making the choice to see it in such a way. Life itself is a choice we must make, & our whole reality is based on our personal & collective perceptions of it. No matter what you believe to be real– that is your choice.
So I have a slightly existential view on choice & life, but I’m also an idealist w/a touch of (irrational?) optimism thrown in. Why choose a negative perspective? Why intentionally limit yourself? Why choose to feel bad when the only thing stopping you from feeling good is choice? Why on earth, would anyone in their right mind actively choose misery over euphoria (huh? Teenage Sara? Why?!)
I believe strongly in the power of the individual to revolutionize their own lives, & thus revolutionize collective reality. Because I choose this view on reality, I try to act in accordince to it & live a life where I choose to see even the occasional contrasting suffering, as beautiful moments of perfection, working in harmony to help me grow. I choose to believe in the power of myself & that magic is REAL, that art & love can save, & that pure blissful waking joy exists if we choose to reach out & grab it.
Meaning may not really exist- it’s up to you the individual to create meaning in life (another rather existential statement), so whats your choice? Whats the meaning you’ll give to reality?