In life, you can choose to be the builder, the worker, someone who takes the pieces and puts them together. You can sketch plans and blueprints. You can burn the midnight oil drowning in books—heavy for children and adults alike. You can build your life up to code, down to the last detail. The result is a sturdy, robust life, bulwarked on all ends. It’s a life that is not shaken up quickly—a strong foundation, a stronger building. Many have done this and done great things. This life is of sense, pattern, and structure. But even the most efficient worker, who does not need a blueprint, visualises the result to build it as expected. It’s a life of looking ahead, imagining and seeing the building before it stands. It’s a life of relentless planning.
Then, there is the other way. You can choose to be the artist, observing from the outside. Your life will never really be yours. You would always be on the sidelines of your own breath, your exhalations flowing about in the crowded cities. It is the life of instinct. You will have to develop a knack for trusting your gut with good reason. It is a life that will always be in flux. You will not get a handle on it because when life imitates art, it imitates it entirely. No great work of art is about knowing what shows up on the blank page. It is all about the serendipity, what the muse wants, and what the medium permits. When you live this way, you will meet life halfway; it will demand you to find some answers; there will be no code, only suggestion. It will be a life of trial and error; trust me, there will be a lot of error.
There is no correct choice, but the moment you pick one, you will regret not picking the other. However, there is a trick no one tells you: choose none. You are free to shift from one to the other on a whim; you can even do it within the day. Many have done it; some even succeeded. There can be art in structure, for what else is mathematics? And there can be structure in art, for what else is a symphony?
It will be lonely, but if we meet along the way, do wave a hello. We shall share the rarest camaraderie known to humankind. We will set up camp and laugh about the merry pleasures of being lost.