When I was in high school I was taught French by a husband and wife who taught together at my school. I remember thinking that you probably only have time to make your life about one big thing. Their lives were dedicated to French. They were both fluent and spent most of their time teaching, running various language-related after school activities, and leading the biannual trips abroad. Whether they intended it or not, French was their de facto ouevre.
Religion. This is always the front runner if you want to make your life “about something.” If you pick the right one, you could make your parents really happy. You could keep praying, applying fatalistic addages, and listening to religious media until you were certain. If you play your cards right, you could figure out how to make religion occupy most of your time and thoughts. You wouldn’t have to come up with your own meaning of life. You study the book and write the answers down when the test comes.
Pleasure. On the other end of the spectrum is the pursuit of pleasure. This is a bit more fun, but much harder to convince yourself you are right re: residual guilt from whatever religion/worldview your parents instilled in you. You can assuage your existential anxiety with drugs and alcohol and sex though, so it’s a toss up.
Relationships. Life could have meaning because you have relationships with people. All the Cartesian Doubt in the world doesn’t erase the relationships you have with others. You could have long, tumultous relationships. You could be a caring person and read Nietzsche and think about how that doesn’t make sense. You have no survival instinct, but that’s okay. Maybe you have something better.
Family. I mean this as distinct from relationships. You have relationships with your co-workers, friends and your family. The family you have that gives you meaning is your kids. You turn 18 or 22 or 30 and find a warm body. You get married and have kids. You start a baby blog. You start an Etsy shop. You are at work or you are a parent or you are crafting. This is the picture book of American life and picture books cannot be wrong.
Wanderlust. I guess this could be called a meaning of life. You could travel around and hang out with neo-beatniks. These people are interesting and passionate. I mean, they smell and take your money and are kind of annoying bohemian martyrs but that could be your thing. You could do your due dilligence- really seek out “truth,” and not stop to settle on any one thing.
Do-Gooding. Your life, whatever the meaning may be, could be about trying to make things easier for others. You could be a social worker and make ends meet with 30k a year and an overwhelming amount of work related stress and heartache. Someone will benefit from this, though it may not be you.