Willingly or unwillingly, we are in an indifferent universe where the majority of influences on our lives are not only out of our control but were entirely arbitrary based on the circumstances of our births and the lives of our parents. We still have ultimate freedom, the freedom of a card player: to fold, or to play the cards we’ve received. As Camus said, suicide is the central problem in philosophy. But a game of cards can be won or lost; a life can only be lived, and the terms of that life are yours to define. We recognise that meaning is a value we assign to words and hang on objects; we should feel no despair in realising the profound meaningless of reality, because it is precisely that meaninglessness which affords us the freedom to define ourselves. It is in interpreting that we exist. Humans are a creative race, and creating meaning is the first of our great projects to create ourselves and our place in the vast indifferent universe. Humans were telling stories before they were building cities, before they were sowing fields.
Meaning is not inherent, but you can spend your time however you want. It’s what you choose to do and what you choose not to do that defines you. We are always making these choices.