What if You Could Do It All Over?
by Joshua Rothman
The link above will take you to the full piece and is by far the best use of 19 mins I’ve had all day. If you don’t believe me, feel free to consume some of my favorite takeaways and quotes below:
P.S. But just know, the full piece hits different-different…
“Part of the work of being a modern person seems to be dreaming of alternate lives in which you don’t have to dream of alternate lives. We long to stop longing, but we also wring purpose from that desire.” — Joshua Rothman
Our lives get unlived for a ton of different reasons. Choices get made, society constrains us, and events happen.
“Advertisers sell us things by getting us to imagine better versions of ourselves, even though there’s only one life to live: it’s ‘YOLO + FOMO,’ a friend tells Miller, summing up the situation nicely. The nature of work deepens the problem. “Unlike the agricultural and industrial societies that preceded it,” Miller writes, our “professional society” is “made up of specialized careers, ladders of achievement.” You make your choice, forgoing others: year by year, you “clamber up into your future,” thinking back on the ladders unclimbed.” — Joshua Rothman
Don’t let the pandemic generate an unlived life. Years from now, you may wonder where you would be if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t shifted you onto a new course.
Focus on what you have done and will do, rather than on what you might have done or could do. Give yourself credit. You’ve done more than you think. Your life is rich. Keep a diary. It might help you feel more satisfied with the life you live.
“…We should sink deeper into the life we have, rather than dreaming of the lives we don’t.” — Joshua Rothman
“Swept up in our real lives, we quickly forget about the unreal ones. Still, there will be moments when, for good or for ill, we feel confronted by our unrealized possibilities; they may even, through their persistence, shape us.” — Joshua Rothman
My two cents: I’m quite the daydreamer. Do you daydream? I feel like there are certainly pros and cons to daydreaming. The first quote mentioned makes that clear. I wonder what effect the pandemic has had on the cadence of daydreams around the world? This is turning into a ramble (I hope you don’t mind), but I can’t stop thinking about how decision by decision, choice by choice, our lives get made up. There are so many decisions/choices to even notice each individual one.
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