Waking Life

“It’s such a strange paradox. I mean, while, technically, I’m closer to the end of my life than I’ve ever been, I actually feel more than ever that I have all the time in the world. When I was younger, there was a desperation, a desire for certainty, like there was an end to the path, and I had to get there. “

“I know what you mean, because I can remember thinking, “Oh, someday, like in my mid-thirties maybe, everything’s going to just somehow gel and settle, just end.” It was like there was this plateau, and it was waiting for me, and I was climbing up it, and when I got to the top, all growth and change would stop. Even exhilaration. But that hasn’t happened like that, thank goodness. I think that what we don’t take into account when we’re young is our endless curiosity. That’s what’s so great about being human. “

“Yeah, yeah. Well do you know that thing Benedict Anderson says about identity?”

“No. “

“Well, he’s talking about like, say, a baby picture. So you pick up this picture, this two-dimensional image, and you say, “That’s me.” Well, to connect this baby in this weird little image with yourself living and breathing in the present, you have to make up a story like, “This was me when I was a year old, and then later I had long hair, and then we moved to Riverdale, and now here I am.” So it takes a story that’s actually a fiction to make you and the baby in the picture identical to create your identity. “

“And the funny thing is, our cells are completely regenerating every seven years. We’ve already become completely different people several times over, and yet we always remain quintessentially ourselves.”

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