According to the plan

The warm summer air against my skin feels nice; it’s as if I rode fast enough, I would hear my heart pumping through my shirt and thus be reminded that I am alive. It’s as if the blood pumping through my veins was shouting at me to keep moving, to keep living, screaming that life is nice. It is an unfamiliar feeling. You know, I always had a plan: a plan to achieve measurable things, to earn money, to be acknowledged. The thing is, being satisfied or happy never featured in this plan. I would give up happiness in a heartbeat in order to gain something concrete, objectively good. But is this sustainable or even possible? I can recognize the fallacy: that there are no objectively good things. What I mean is that it is down to an entity, individual or collective, to attribute such value judgements to things. And if the judge itself has its thoughts clouded or is heavily biased and acting erratic; there’s no real validity in the sub-consequent conclusions anymore.

I feel the pressure of growing old and I have the intuition like life should be enjoyable. It’s like I am making the same mistakes all over again; I keep insisting in doing something that I might actually not be that passionate about: I keep insisting in doing Mathematics when I might actually not enjoy it that much. How is that possible, you say? Well, theoretically I like the idea of doing Mathematics and the idea of being a Mathematician, but in practice I don’t think I enjoy it that much anymore, if I ever really did enjoy it. And it seems like I keep doing the same mistake, when given the chance to broaden my scope of knowledge, I somehow dismiss everything else for the sake of “purity”. That’s what happened when I was offered a place in Joint Maths and Computing when I started my Bachelors and that’s what happened here, when I had the chance to do something very applied, I choose something for the sake of being mathematical. This sounds stupid. What I mean, nowadays I don’t seem to do my degree for loving the subject, I do it because I “have” to. Maybe it’s just an excuse to not feel lost. I labelled myself as a mathematician, and that’s it, I’m scared of having to change my whole conception of myself.

I need to figure things out. I need to figure whether Academia is even a place I want to be at, or whether I am only here because it’s the only place where I don’t feel like everyone else has moved on. Maybe I am scared of real life: paying bills, sucking up, finding a relationship, getting married, popping kids. There’s so many issues in my head that I think this is the only place where I can still blend in seamlessly. When bad things happen it is much easier to bury them inside, as if not talking nor thinking about them would prevent them from affecting your life. I always thought this is what strong individuals ought to do; to be stoic, rational, unshakable, never giving up and powering through. Maybe it is possible but the more realistic scenario is that sometimes it’s okay to be lost. It is only human to not know all the answers. For so long, I have suppressed humanity because I thought it was childish. I thought that human emotions were flawed, solely an evolutionary remnant of our animality. But it is this that keeps us connected, truly alive. The ability to look at something and recognize beauty that I can’t describe with concepts, the ability to look at someone and connect without a single word spoken, the ability to understand without a rational process occurring makes us interesting. There are so many beautiful things in the world are just felt but everyday I neglect this in favor of a pursuit of something I no longer feel passionate about.


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