You don't have to be an academic. You don't have to be anything. Don't force it. Feel your way, and don't stop feeling your way until something fits. Maybe nothing will. Maybe you are a road, not a destination. That is fine. Be a road. But make sure it's one with something to look at out of the window.
Humans are always doing things they don't like doing. In fact, to my best estimate, at any one time only point three percent of humans are actively doing something they like doing, and even when they do so, they feel an intense amount of guilt about it and are fervently promising themselves they'll be back doing something horrendously unpleasant very shortly.
[...] being human is being a young child on Christmas Day who receives and absolutely magnificent castle. And there is a perfect photograph of this castle on the box and you want more than anything to play with the castle and the knights and the princesses because it looks like such a perfect human world, but the only problem is that the castle isn't built. It's in tiny intricate pieces, and although there's a book of instructions you don't understand it. And nor can your parents or Aunt Sylvie. So you are just left, crying at the ideal castle on the box which no one would ever be able to build.
Past and future are myths. The past is just the present that has died and the future will never exists anyway, because by the time we get to it the future will have turned into the present. The present is all there is. The ever-moving, ever-changing present. And the present is fickle. It can only be caught by letting go.
The point of love is to help you survive. The point is also to forget meaning. To stop looking and start living. The meaning is to hold the hand of someone you care about and to live inside the present.