“A life that you signed up for”

“This is the life that you signed up for.”

True — except that, it is not me that signed up for this life.

I think I love this city. I begin to understand why people can love big city — it can be clean. It can be diversified. It can be rich in cultural life and intellectual vibes. People here do not herd.

A city can be beautiful.

But I am afraid too. Not about the city life, but the powerful nudges that subdue people. We are all shaped and reshaped by the roles that we reside in. When the life runs too fast and you only have time to catch up, life becomes autonomous.

Giovanna says: “Try keeping doing things that are meaningful, despite the pain and discomfort.”

I agree. — But what makes a life meaningful?

Is it adding happiness? Is it promoting understanding of the impacts of technology? Is it reducing pain and suffering at a larger scale? Is it creating beautiful things? Is it saving lives?

When I look at the current life, oftentimes I feel it is true that I am understanding the technology more and being able to jump out of the original econ-style stereotype thinking. But more often, I feel myself standing at the wrong side of the battle.

There may be no wrong in doing this. But it is “meaningless”, as Klaus puts it.

How am I supposed to defend it and fight for it when I do not believe it myself? How can I be comfortable in these everyday struggles, if the contribution of the end goal is indeed blurry?

I want to find a way out of this.

I was thinking Center for Livable Media. Or, at least, a position that can allow me to “spend some love”, as is done by the junior manager of NYT cartoon session who calls up the authors and tell them their creations get used.

I convinced myself that as long as I do well enough, one day I can get in touch with the giants and collaborate with them to make the world better. It feels like I was thinking that as long as I “obey the rule”, one day they will reward me by letting me out.

It does not happen that way. I won’t get it if I don’t stay vigilant, and simply accepts whatever is offered to me. I won’t be out of it if I do not learn how to sacrifice the part of the “given” life. I won’t succeed if I only follow the steps of others when they do not necessarily share the same value with me.

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