I spent some time for a while trying to define what life is or should be. I would keep asking myself "Am I living a normal life? Is life supposed to be this bad or good?" It’s not that I felt that I should live a normal life but just that up until that point everything had been predetermined by the state education system. It feels very strange when you emerge out the end and suddenly you can do whatever you want. Only I was pretty naive because you really can’t do whatever you want. I don’t qualify to do 99% of things.
As time went on I realized that there isn’t a determined life that you are supposed to lead. Life is different for each person. The fact that so much of westerners’ early lives are predetermined by education is incidental; it could have been different (for most of history, it was). And I find it endlessly fascinating that the things that seem completely boring and mundane to me will be shocking, strange, or maybe even inspiring to others. And there are people out there who have created lives for themselves that are much worse and much better than mine.
Imagine being placed somewhere at random in an enormous maze 3-dimensional maze (you can go up and down ladders as well as left, right, forward, and back). The aim is to reach the center. There are endless corridors and choices. You can pick any way you like but some will be easier and some harder. The walls are mostly transparent but the maze is so big you can’t clearly see where the center is so you have little way of knowing ahead of time which will be easy and which will be hard and if you pick the wrong one you have to go back and try a different way. To help there are lots of other people in this maze with you but they are all on their own journey trying to get to the center as well. Some times you can go with them but that only lasts for so long before they want to go a different way. Some of them claim authority and will be very forceful in pushing you down a particularly path. Some will actively try to make you go the wrong way or simply delay you. Then occasionally people will see a way through a wall that you can’t see and will walk through it but the wall will be completely impassable to you. You may lose friends this way as well as meet new people.
In this metaphor the maze represents the universe and its full range of possibilities. The random positioning in the maze represents the chance element of your birth: some are born close to the center, some are born far away. The center is a theoretical point of bliss we are all trying to reach. In reality the maze exists in more than 3-dimensions which explains how people occasionally pass through walls that appear invisible to you. Another way to understand this is that each person is actually navigating their own personal maze and you aren’t really in the same maze, they just intersect occasionally. The center is also in a different place for each person or there may be multiple centers or maybe the center doesn’t really exist at all.
I wasn’t expecting to write all that. I guess something came over me.