The Call of the Void

Photo Credit: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

Photo Credit: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry
Behind the column

“The Call of the Void” was inspired by the imperfect English translation of the French phrase L’Appel du vide. In short, L’Appel du vide is that tiny voice in your head that gives you the inclination or urge you might feel to, say,  jump or fall from a high place. Some critics argue that L’Appel du vide is a form of suicidal ideation, while others say it is more of a non-destructive longing. So, when I decided to title my column this, I did it with the intentions of creating something that didn’t always provide readers with some universal lesson or truth but instead combined those two conflicting dialogues together. 

As someone becoming more aware of her mental health each day, I wanted my column to be open about topics like depression and anxiety, not in a way that glorified it but rather in a way that allowed for readers to know that it’s okay to not feel okay. However, I am a firm advocate in encouraging others, myself included, to take the necessary steps to seek out help and reach out to someone if they feel their mental health is becoming severe. 

When it came to desired longing, I wrote about things that drive me to achieve my goals, things that compel me to take risks, things that make me question my life journey, things that are bittersweet, things that are just, and things that make me human—like trying to understand emotions that can sometimes be too complex to comprehend. 

“The Call of the Void” was meant to join these two narratives together—that what I interpreted as my desired longing will in some way, shape, or form impact my mental health. And sometimes, well, most of the time, those stories didn’t really have a point. Every week I wrote my column, not once did I think of it as an exchange between author and reader, that every column had to have a purpose behind it. Most of the time, I just said things to just say it. Whether that had an impact on who read it is unbeknownst to me, but I hope I gave someone, at least once, something to think about. 

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