I think my life would be fulfilled if only I would arrive at an advanced scientific discovery.
Instead, I’m walking directly into 45-year-old-factories taking “rustic” shots for my brother’s art gallery. My dear brother deems himself to be an up-and-coming artist. As such, he excuses his low-budget gallery as an “industrial-chic” environment. Meaning, the gallery can be found immediately hidden in huge warehouses on the abandoned south side of town.
I, on the other hand, am supposed to be great. I am supposed to be the next Luis Alvarez, the second Neil Armstrong, the next great discoverer!
As you can see - I’m not. I’m taking “angsty” photos in deserted warehouses.
What I really want to photograph is the Kuiper Belt - the vast and distant repository of frozen, primitive objects where Pluto resides. But after two hours in the warehouse, I resign myself to my fate of earthly photography.
That is until I hear a small rustle from the copper bins next to me. Suddenly two small eyes shine through the rubble and I hear an almost imperceptible meow. Relieved that I’m not being followed by some mangy beast, I try to coax the small kitten out. After much cooing and bribing with a few pieces of beef jerky that I found at the bottom of my backpack, a small, orange fur ball appears.
She’s a little dusty and has a funny bend to her right ear, but without a doubt, Kuiper is coming home with me.
I scoop up my new orange friend and throw the camera in my bag because I have great news to share!
After all, I have discovered something.
I think my life would be fulfilled when I meet him again. It’s been twenty-one years. You think he’d still be as quirky? As intelligent? As warm? A lot changes when one turns sixty.
I saw him for the first time as a graduate student attending his lecture on Galileo and the Sun Rising from the West. Later that year, I was asked to join his team at an advanced scientific discovery facility north of the city. Right before he mysteriously disappeared.
They say he had discovered something very important; others say that he had invented a time-related apparatus. No one knew if it was true.
Our former research group got the news first. He resurfaced. He has something to show the world.
As soon as I got the encrypted message, I got on my bike and whooshed through the narrow city streets. I rode directly into the 45-year-old factories; the same ones Zenith occupied to manufacture CRTs.
I reach the place the very last one. When the seven of us took a seat on the makeshift table in that cold and large space, the professor showed up. His signature smile and quirky face had not changed. He only got greyer.
It turns out that whatever he had invented was immediately hidden in huge warehouses at the location; underground. How could anyone have missed it?
“Follow me,” he said.
From here on, the way we understand physics will change forever.
I used to think my life would be fulfilled when I had achieved the perfect career, relationship and number of Instagram followers. Boy was I wrong. All of that is simply out of reach at the same time. Nothing in life is perfect. And what I’ve come to know instead is that it’s imperfection that brings me the most fulfillment in life!
Imperfection can be like something of an advanced scientific discovery. Few people reallyknow about and appreciate it. Imperfection makes some people nervous, angry, or even makes them just want to cry! Really, how shortsighted! I prefer to marvel at it, dissect it and generally try to laugh through it instead.
Anyway, imperfection is way more interesting than perfection. The kind of interesting that’s even sometimes a bit scary. And scary things are immediately hidden in huge warehouses, whether those warehouses are real or believed to be real (like the alien artifacts in Area 51). Whether those huge warehouses exist exclusively in the millions of neural pathways of our brains!
There is perfection in the imperfection of a self-styled pizza! We can look back directly into the 45-year-old factories of Godfather’s Pizza* and Pizza Express Bar restaurants to be reminded that variety, not perfection, is the spice of life. Who doesn’t love a perfectly gooey, chewy, cheesy, messy pizza!
Who needs the perfect career, relationshipand Instagram fame, when you’ve created your own perfectly imperfect pizza! Laugh, love, learn and live imperfectly in 2019!
In the not-so-far-away village of Grumpilitily, little Suzy had always been considered a little peculiar. One, she was little, among all the gigantic adults; and two, she was all bouncy and giggly and plane right annoying to them.
Noisy Suzy they called her.
On one not-so-bright morning, little noisy – and nosy – Suzy heads directly into the 45-year-old factories that her father had clearly forbidden her to approach. “They’re dangerous” he said. But little noisy nosy Suzy, peculiar as she was, did not believe in danger. She saw colors, magic and, well, candy everywhere. Suzy slowly walks towards the big gray buildings, barbed wire all around with electrical fences and crocodiles guarding the entrances, very secure state-of-the-art security measures the village security committee had proudly installed . Suzy, skips, hums, bounces - as she always does, greets the crocodile and pets him, finds a small hole in the fence and just waltz right into the forbidden factory.
And there… she finds….
Unicorns! Loads and loads of unicorns. Yes. Unicorns. Lots of them unicorns.
A little backstory:
On February 20th 1944, a mad scientist moved to the not-so-far-away village of Grumpilitily. Long story short, Edgar the mad scientist of the not-so-far-away village of Grumpilitily, fiddling around the kitchen of a lab, accidentally invents a unicorn. Yup, a unicorn. And there started the stories and rumors all over the village about an advanced scientific discovery. The gigantic adults of the village of Grumpilitily went into a mass panic and the village sheriff, determined to bring things back to normal, demands for “the unicorn” to be immediately hidden in huge warehouses, guarded by barbed wire all around with electrical fences and crocodiles guarding the entrances, very secure state-of-the-art security measures the village security committee was assigned to install. And the village was never to speak of it again.
The little girl stands in awe, big eyes just staring at that big pretty thing with a misplaced horn on the forehead.
She thought to herself “I think my life would be fulfilled if I could just pet one”.
So she did.
Whoever said that you can only learn about life through time and age didn’t actually learn much. I can immediately feel everyone disagreeing, and I’m not much of a philosophical writer, but just give it some thought and ask yourself one simple question:
Is life measured in time, or in moments?
One thing’s for sure, life is definitely not an advanced scientific discovery, and it certainly can’t be experienced by locking yourself away from everything and everyone. You need to put yourself out there, meet people, share experience, and make new ones.
Of course, you might disagree, but what’s the point of buying a toy if you’re not going to play with it? What’s the point of having a house if you’re not going to live in it? And what’s the point of having a car if you’re not going to drive it? Yes, I know, I’m pushing more questions than answers, but here’s my point:
Our lives are all made up of moments. Good or bad, they can all teach us something and take us where we want to be. You cannot grow, smile, or say you have a fulfilled life if your experiences are immediately hidden in huge warehouses.
There’s a reason why children love to play. It’s not because they’re still young, or don’t have responsibilities. These are all illusions we like to believe in, all fed directly by the 45-year-old factories of our dulled minds and silenced hearts. Life sure can be tough, but all it takes is to watch these kids play to realize what they can teach us: the world is still our playground.
When anyone asks me when I think my life would be fulfilled, the answer is always the same: it already is. Not because I’ve experienced a lot, or achieved so much; but because I still am, I still want, and I still try.
So, if you’re looking to make a change this year, do yourself a favor and learn from your children, from your students. When you see how few and little walls they have, you’ll begin to tear down yours.
The 7 Min Read is coming back in 2019 with more great content to help you better guide, advise, and inspire youth. Forward this to your friends and colleagues.
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