I typically consider myself a risk-averse person, but I’ve noticed that life gets quite boring without risk. When I was in school, I was constantly on edge about my grades or my recruiting prospects. But now, I don’t have those fears anymore. Life today is more-or-less similar to how it was yesterday. I’m a bit worried about a solar storm that would wipe out all the computer servers that record what capital we own, which would result in the collapse of modern civilization, but that’s quite a distance fear for the moment.
Now, I have the need to manufacture risk beyond what is presented to me. This life that I have now, which I thought was the life I wanted a couple of years ago, is no longer the life I want anymore. I have a long-term vision of what I want in my life, and my current life is on the pathway to achieve my long-term goal, but I also have a desire to diverge from this path and live a life that leads me to stray from this long-term vision for myself.
I have the need to live beyond the life I have now, so I pursue things that don’t necessarily fit my long-term vision for myself but nevertheless things I want to do now to satisfy my short-term desires. I have the desire to live as full of a life as I can. I have the desire to prove that I can live whatever life I can, but living a well-rounded life can come at the cost of living a focused life. If I wanted to speed-run life, I would get married as soon as I could, but there are still a couple of things I want to accomplish before I get married.
What troubles me the most is the uncertainty of when I will die. I find it annoying that we could all die for the most random of reasons. I used to think living until old age until I die of cancer or something was a given, but lately I’ve become more acutely aware that it is not necessarily the case. For one, I could die of a brain aneurysm at any moment, and there’s not much I can do about it. There’s so much I want to do in life before that happens. I want to get married, have kids, move to a suburb in Greenwich, Connecticut and live out the rest of my life while forgetting the first 22 years of my life.
If I knew when I would die, I would be able to plan out my life accordingly. I would be able to evaluate whether moving to Greenwich to start a family is a feasible goal. If I don’t live long enough to realize my long-term goals, then I could just focus on my short-term goals. If anything, it makes my life quite easier. Since my short-term and long-term goals are often at odds with each other, it saves me the trouble of balancing my need for one over the other.
I want to shoot my shot at becoming a pop star. Unironically. I’m only allowing myself a couple of years to accomplish this goal, half-heartedly while still working full-time, because I still want to fulfill my vision for the subruban life I want for myself in my 30s. If attempting to be a popstar means that I can’t live in a Greenwich suburb and send my kids to prep school, then I don’t want to pursue it at all. But in the meantime, I still want to become a popstar.
There’s also risk-seeking behavior I engage in the present that actively distract me from attaining my surburban dreams. Everytime I go on a hike up a mountain, there’s a chance that I might slip and die. Everytime I travel to a foreign country, there’s a chance I might not make it back home. Why do I engage in these behaviors? Namely, it is because they make my peaceful reality seem more pleasurable in comparison. I hate thrill, but sometimes the intensity of thrill makes the dull moments of life all the more pleasurable.
I find it unfortunate that we need to prove things to ourselves to make us feel like we are living. It would be a lot easier if we could just live in a state of being where everyday existence felt just as alive as the thrill of novelty. Perhaps there will one day be a life like that. It can be like that if we will it to be like that, but I’m not sure if I want my life to be like that. It’s hard to forget about the concept of opportunity cost after you learn about it. How can we live a life that everyone else can live when we already could live a life that only we can live?