9 January 2003
How Fight Club Changed My Life
Once, I was a young boy who believed everything I heard, yet I knew nothing. I was impressionable and weak. Above all else, I was confused. I did not understand myself, and I did not realize why I wasn’t happy. Everything always went wrong. I felt my life slipping away into oblivion with no palpable meaning. My life was an endless array of homework, band camp, theater, girls, and a myriad other things that were not making me happy. Day after day, like a tumor, I felt weakness and futility grow inside me. Author Chuck Palahniuk writes, “This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time (29).” I was lost with no map to guide me…until I read Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk. It engraved in me a sense of mortality, helped me see the world for what it really is, and led me on a journey away from my malformed childhood and into a beautiful new life of curiosity and truth.
“Someday you will die, and until you know that, you are useless to me (76).” These words, written by Palahniuk, struck me in a way few others have. Like most teenagers, I often host a feeling of invulnerability towards death. Until I read Fight Club, I never stopped to think that one day everything will fall apart; I will die and the world will forget me. Palahniuk helped me realize, “How everything you ever love will reject you or die. Everything you ever create will be thrown away. Everything you’re ever proud of will end up as trash (201).” After all, “On a long enough time line, everyone’s survival rate drops to zero (176).” “Someday I’ll be dead without a scar and there would be a
really nice condo and car (49).” When I am dying, what will I be thinking? Will I feel good about my life?
These questions haunted me, made me realize that most of my life was a complete waste. I was not being bold enough; I was not following my dreams; I did not know what I truly wanted (I am still not exactly sure what I want). I was not free. It...