XXVII -Best mistake I ever made
The butterfly effect.
I'm sure you've heard of the butterfly effect, where small changes in the previous state of things can affect greatly the outcome in a later phase. This chaos theory is popular in time travelling scenarios, because of the non-linear nature of time. Namely, you're told to be careful not to make changes in the past to not change the future.
The term is coined by Edward Lorenz, an American mathematician and meteorologist known best for his work on the chaos theory and butterfly effect. (which I'm suddenly very interested in) In metaphorical sense, "A tornado is being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier." -Wikipedia, The butterfly effect.
Well, I don't know about tornadoes. I've always connected this theory to the hypothetical mindset that doing something as minor as killing a butterfly could lead to much bigger things into the future. Again, sci-fi and time travel. All fictional and entertaining.
Okay, I tried to seem smart with my budget research on the matter, but there's a reason I brought this up. It's true that occassionally, seemingly small decisions and occurences can and will, affect the outcome in the long run. Of course, you wouldn't know that because we live only in this timeline. (Don't even start with parallel timelines, where every single outcome of every action has their own sets of realities. Shut up.)
What if you chose differently?
What are the biggest turn-points of your life? Maybe a successful career-choice? Taking up a new hobby? Meeting your love of the life at the traffic-junction on your way to work? Perhaps even making a bad purchase that you regret ever so dearly.. Ever wonder how your life turned out if you chose that one thing differently?
Take example three of the previous paragraph for instance. You met your significant other, who happens to be the most important person in your life today, at a traffic-junction? The scenario is incredibly unlikely, but possible. Let's say you appeared there a minute later or decided to alter your route just so you wouldn't arrive at the scene at all. Or, didn't initiate the conversation or whatever happened there in the first place. How would that reality differ from yours? It's true that these chances happen every single minute and we miss most of them as we go. On the other hand, if you were to meet another person on your modified route, you would still ask the same question in that alternative timeline; "What if I wasn't there and made a different decision?"
It's pointless to keep wondering about the alternatives, because the line between them is so fragile. You shift a little and might find yourself completely elsewhere. That's why I don't believe in fate. However, I believe that everything happens for a reason. That might sound contradictory, which is in the hands of the viewer. Fate chooses one path to follow, no matter what. Reason emerges in one's mind and thus can dictate many purposes, context sensitively. If things didn't happen for a reason, they wouldn't affect you and your actions. That's my view on the matter, of course.
Last Winter a friend of mine and myself had the great idea to walk across the icy lake surrounding our city and trekking our way to a free-to-use public cabin. It was cold as hell and the whole journey took us like six hours to complete. We got 7 kilometers off by hitchhiking. Let me tell you, walking out in the freezing cold for so long makes you want to sell your grandmother for a little bit of warmth, I'm dead serious! Anyway, the journey was well worth it! In the evening, as we warmed ourselves and enjoyed the steamy sauna, he asked me:
"You ever come to realize that every single decision in your life has led to this moment? Like, if you did something differently, we wouldn't be all the way out here today, enjoying this quiet nature."
That's why I'm bringing this up to you today. Let me tell you about the time of the best mistake I ever made.
In Entry #5, I told you the story of how I formed into the person I am today. Well, the transform wasn't intentional and didn't happen as a consequence of how I always lived. I just happened to make one major error and realized it too late. Why do I think that the specific event is responsible for everything? My quality of life started improving gradually after that point in time. That's my proof.
I've written about my childhood, how I used to be socially awkward and the embodiment of a geeky teen who's thinking too big of himself. I love video games, always have and always will. As a child, I used to take them too seriously. No, I still get mad when I lose and try to work on that. What I mean is gaming as a lifestyle. I get offended when someone talks bad about my favorite things and get depressed when I get told I play too much. I also lacked content. Lacked desire for learning and living life as a whole. I always loved computers, too.
So, junior high was reaching near end and I had to make a decision. In Finnish we have a saying, literally translated to "What do you become when you get big?", meaning to inquire about your dreams and career choices. "What are you going to do for a living?" would be more fitting for context. So, I always avoided the question by saying I needed to think about it and didn't really bother myself with the thought. Until came the day that excuse expired and I kind of had to make up a decision. Or a group of decisions to leave up to the higher authorities to deal with. So, these are the branches I applied for..
1. Electrical Engineering
2. Art & Design
3. (Something related to electrical, I think?)
4. High School
I wasn't interested in high schools at all, but had to select something for worst-case-scenario. So, I got accepted into Electrical Engineering. Don't laugh when I reveal the following statement...
I confused Telecommunications with Electrical Engineering.
As mentioned, I love computers. I felt like I wanted to work with computers, because that’s where my passion is at. Turns out when I got the response letter from my to-be vocational school, it contained a list of equipment that I would need to acquire for the studies. Things like hammer, set of scredrivers, a multimeter, safety boots and some pliers, amongst number of other things. You know, things that you don't need in telecommunications. I was like, fuck...
I wouldn't describe myself as a practical or handy person. I never really had to do anything around the house, let alone carpentry jobs. I don't remember ever using a power drill. Basically what I'm saying, there's no way I could handle the education program. I would probably not be a good electrician. Nevertheless, I applied for it and I'm sure as hell going to try it out. Maybe it's not so bad..?
Just stop a minute there.
Let me remind you of what we discussed earlier. The butterfly effect and the change of non-linear continuation. Every decision I've ever done has lead to this moment. At the moment, it is 25th of August 2018, half past ten in the evening. I am writing this specific paragraph in my new home in Lahti, Finland. Lying on my large papasan chair cushion and with my mini laptop on my lap, just ended a phone call with a person I held romantic interest in. My chances with her are over, but she gave me lots of new perspectives to work on. Point being, I dare say I wouldn't be here writing, and you wouldn't be there reading if I didn't make that one mistake.
You know that stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to truly improve yourself? If I haven't said that enough, someone else must have. It's the simple truth, take it or leave it. When I left to study electricity, that must've been the first time I really leaped out of mine. Doing pretty much the opposite of what I yearned for set me up for lots of new experiences and learning opportunities.
From a novice to average.
If I gave you a cable with three wires sticking out and threw a separate plug into the mix, would you know how to make an extension cord? If you've got zero knowledge on electrical installations, you probably wouldn't. However, common sense tells you there’s probably a reason there’s three separate wires instead of one. Maybe there’s an order you’re supposed to follow? I bet you wouldn't try to shove the three wires into one slot and hope for the best? Cause that's exactly what I did on my first day. I had this delusion, a false concept of physics.
Don't fret, I realized the goof before I had a chance to test it in action. Just so you know, this was my level of understanding when I started. After nearly electrocuting myself (twice?), dealing with a load of embarrassing mistakes and trying to fit in with my minimal expertise, I improved. You see, it's all about attitude. Sure, I still suck at biology, chemistry, history, basically anything that isn't based of calculations but purely knowledge based. I always loved math and found physics enjoyable at times.
Soon, I realized that some people in my class were relying on me and my friend for assistance. It felt amazing. To know that my aid was in demand. Our class was never top tier, however. If you call the majority of our group an unmotivated bunch with little potential, we were but an average. I blame the teachers, I blame system in action at the time. I blame my classmates for giving our teachers such a hard time. I blame my own, although greater in comparison, decreased motivation and unwillingness to make the most of it.
I found the lax schedules and requirements quite amusing. Still, I've always been too kind and careful in following the rules. “A goody two-shoes“ might be the expression. I wasn't reckless or irresponsible, but sometimes went with the flow. I felt sorry for the teachers on behalf of my fellow students. When you don't possess the same passion for your job as you once did, a dozen students complaining “Can we go home?“ in perfect harmony sure doesn't improve it, either. I know because the school I'm currently at has it all upside-down. Everything is different. I love it.
I don't really know what else to tell you.
I seeked new friends, grew up, discovered minimalism, found a passion in traveling and cultures, became handy in terms of carpentry and practical skills and learned a shit-load of new things. Reprioritized what's truly important in my life and realized my values. I became a better version of me.
I'm still practising not to defend your opinions and ignore what others think about you. Saying things like “I think that“, “in my opinion“, “probably“ and other indirect phrases that leave room for doubt. I think.... No, if you're sure about your values, stick to them. Consider others' arguments in a debate but make your mind on your own.
One of the most important lessons I've learned is that even if you're comfortable doing something, doesn't necessarily mean you're happy. You might not be aware of all the choices out there. That's precisely why it's so important to try different things in life, to discover your hidden passions. Right now, I'm passionate about many things that I wouldn't have imagine myself being five years ago. Things like exercising, literature, writing, sleeping on the floor, electronics and so forth.
As much as you're figuring out the world and people around you, you're figuring things about yourself. Get familiar with yourself, your inner self. That's all.
Thanks for getting through, I really appreciate it. More so if my writings help you with your own troubles. If you skipped, that's okay too! As long as you found what you're looking for, I'm happy to help. Love ya folks!
“Never say never, because limits, like fears are often like an illusion.“ -Michael Jordan
What you should listen to right now to feel me: Camelia - Mili
And while you're feeling me, check this out: Vitamins - Mili
Spread that love, honey cheeks: With a Billion Worldful of <3 - Mili
Dude, don't be a square.
August 24th, 2018