The other life

Today, I tried to imagine myself as an Engineering student. I found a seat somewhere in the labyrinthine home of the engineers, and watched as the to-be-engineers passed me by. There was something about them, about their demeanor, that felt different from those studying the humanities and the arts. Or maybe it’s just the stereotypes that have played their way into my perception. I laid my papers on the table and began to the read. Sometimes, I would look up to find that sparse little garden in front of me. Then, I imagined it as something familiar, which I see every day; insofar as to not bother noticing its features. I imagined that my papers, instead of being filled with words, were filled with numbers and symbols and graphs.

This could well have been my life, but I chose another. Which of the two paths is the more authentic? Which of them had called out to me more? Had I taken the other, would I now feel less of this inexpressible anxiety? It is surely tempting to choose a life whose path is more or less fixed. Study engineering and you become an engineer. It isn’t difficult at all. The dizzying infinity of choice is taken away. Freedom is sometimes such a curse.

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