The choice of being “choiceless”

How does one make choices? From the basic dilemma between espresso and cappuccino to chosing a life-determining career, how can one know which is more suitable? Simple: they can’t. In my opinion, us humans are doomed to a lifetime of predicting unpredictable futures, becoming our own visionaries in a semi-blind existence as we base our decisions on empty suppositions, unrealistic dreams and oftentimes others’ experiences.

I was 17 the first time I was told to make the biggest decision of my life: what do you want to do for the rest of your life? Easier to answer than a mathematical equation, or so we’re made to believe. How does one suddenly know, at a barely post-pubescent stage of life, in which direction to go? And how can one, after seventeen years on Earth, mostly spent eyes wide open swallowing all pride and ego as orders are barked at one’s face, want to just follow one straight path, plan designed on a whim by an already half-disillusioned teen? You’re allowed one dream, one journey, and it’d better be good. Young and idealistic, I answered that I wanted to create things, from invisible copybooks and x-ray vision goggles to bicycles and medical prosthetics, an artist and engineer all at once; it all seemed so glamorous. I enrolled in college, went through five years of continuous ups and downs, sleepless nights and repetitive headbanging till I finally graduated with that much talked about masters degree.

Flash forward two years later, I feel 17 again. I may even look the part some days, but the feeling resides mostly in that whirlwind of choices we usually face in our teens and that I’m uncharacteristically facing again today. I don’t necessarily want a do-over, I just want to still have a choice down the line, to know I’m not stuck in this or that skin I might some day soon come to outgrow, to reassure that little part of me squealing inside every one of my limbs and thoughts every time I envision my future self. When they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had the perfect answer, one I still stand by today; when I grow up, I want to be…everything.

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