Finding Ways


All too often, when I start writing a post, I do not know where I’m going with it. I drop thoughts like breadcrumbs to lead my way, and their relationship to each other forms a constellation that casts light on a path.

If I’m lucky.

It is very difficult to do or to say that which you aren’t told– not that which is forbidden, but those possibilities which are never even mentioned, never brought to your mind as things a person can do or say. Often our words and our tools fail us, because they weren’t designed for the ideas we find ourselves presented with. And, because these paths lead to unknown locations, they are unpaved and unlit. We never know where we’re going before we get there, and the trip there is seldom an easy one.

I will say now what I think everyone wishes they could say:

I don’t know what I’m doing here.

I’m just feeling my way.

I think the greater part of growing up is the sinking realization that everyone else is as lost as you are. I don’t know where this myth of a world of adults, of professionals, of experts, came from. The experts are mostly the ones who know enough to know that they know nothing.

Anyone who fails to feel lost has no real perception of the vastness and strangeness and possibility of this world. Anyone content to convince themselves a swimming pool is the sea is likely unworthy of your attention.

It’s a little bit sad, but a little bit exciting, to recognize ourselves as peers in our confusion.

Many of us find that hard to face, though. We graduate to bigger sandboxes. Is there a fundamental difference whether, once you consign your life to a grind in an office chair, you do so filling Excel sheets on someone else’s dime, or do so murdering imaginary wildlife and brigands? They are both ways of constraining your life to the boundaries of someone else’s imagination and intent.

But– even if we constrain ourselves to these smaller possibility spaces, there’s still a chance for us to find our own way. The subsets of infinity are infinite, and no matter how much we constrain ourselves we will still be free.

No one has ever proscribed or prescribed most things which are possible. There are an infinite number of trails left to blaze, trails distant from compliance or rebellion, and even if the possibility sub-spaces proffered by professions and recreations are just a part of the world at large, there are trails, and lives to live, which we may only access through those particular points.

What you do has worth, as part of the life you lead.

Or maybe it doesn’t.

I don’t know.

Because no one knows where you’re going, least of all yourself. You, like the rest of us, have to navigate as best as you can on limited information.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here.

Which, come to think of it, is probably exactly as it should be.


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