The alarm rang at six, and I watched the golden, almost fiery sunrise through the window, and then, I slept again. In the sleep I got from that point on, I dreamed of a life that was impossible until a few things went differently. I woke up a little later, and as I stood under the shower, I realised again that our lives seldom depend only on us. It is sensitive, changing at the softest of nudges. Life is built on the countless backs of uncountable people making decisions day after day. Despite what we decide and the stress we put on our agency, our lives almost entirely depend on the world around us. To say that it is not this way is a bold claim, and like most bold claims, it is naive. My life today is as much about me as it is about other people; in many ways, they have made it happen more than I have. I have been an agent, but their decisions have made possibilities impossible. That is what life is in the end: the murder of possibility year by year. Whatever we do and whatever we choose, the pool of our choices decreases year by year, and we have as much say in it as others do.
By saying this, I do not mean someone cannot begin again, but that any beginning would come with the baggage of what has happened already. What they do with the burden of that knowledge is not for me to say, and I hope they are triumphant. Regardless of what we think of ourselves, a simple decision that was never ours to make can change the trajectory of our life in unbelievable ways. This life I live is an unintended outcome. If it were only in my purview, it would be different. And what of happiness? Happiness has nothing to do with it. It is a measure of how synchronised you are with your life, not how it went or goes. But it would have been different had it been up to me; I know that much.
In the cafe I am writing this from lives a cat; its sandbox and bowl are in one section. The people here, customers like myself, open the door now and then to move about. Where the cat can wander off is not truly up to it, but how long the door is open and if it has a chance to sneak. The intention is not the only thing that matters; what matters is that the door opens at the right moment.