“How can we be sure?”
“This. Life. Anything. How can we be sure that we aren’t dreaming right now?”
“Really, this again? Can’t you just admit that you went to bed too late yesterday instead of trying to get out of going to work by tricking everyone into questioning their existence?”
“What? I wasn’t trying to …”
“I’m not falling for it. Get to the office within 10 minutes or you are fired.”
*The phone disconnected.*
15 minutes later…
“Look, time is relative right? It is going slower closer to huge bodies of mass. My apartment is on the ground floor. I really had enough time when I left. It’s just that this office which is located at the 4th floor has a faster flow of time. I can’t help it…”
“Dude, just go do your job and set your alarm a bit earlier from now on.”
He cleared out his e-mailbox which had filled with 50 new messages in the 2 hours he missed in the morning. Another bug, another change request. Always the same.
Seriously, what am I doing with my life? Is this all there is to it?
He had always thought he was supposed to do something great with his life but never figured out just what.
One day I’ll write history is what he keeps telling himself but he has no clue how yet.
Across the room he saw one of his colleagues stressing out as usual. If only she worked less hard she would get so much more done He thought. Sarah had a habit of always diving headfirst into the tasks assigned to it instead of thinking it through first. Good intentions, shitty execution. She’d been there for 11 years now. What if I end up like her? The thought scared him.
“Yo, Sarah. Why are you alive?”
“Excuse me?!” Sarah was visibly offended.
“Sorry, didn’t mean it that way. I mean, what are you living for? Why do you get up in the morning and go to work for?”
“Well I have to get up and work so I can make money of course.”
“But what for?”
“So I can pay rent and pay for food obviously. Why are you asking these dumb questions?”
“You misunderstand me, I get that we need a roof over our head, and we need food to survive. Having a job is a way to pay for that. But what is it we live for in the first place? It seems like there should be something more to it. Something we still want to do and achieve. What is your dream? Or what is the most important thing in life for you?”
“Well, I love travel and hanging out with my friends. Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures.” Sarah answered.
“What’s up with that reply?”
“I mean, would you say that traveling and hanging out with your friends make life enjoyable and worth living?”
“Then why do you still work here? This company and the work you do have nothing to do with traveling. And since you work 5 days a week you don’t have much time to spend with you friends either do you? Do you hang out with your friends a lot? Do you travel often?
“Well, we are adults with real responsibilities right? I see my friends in the weekends and I go abroad once a year… Anyway, stop bothering me I have work to do. I’m trying to figure out why this chart isn’t showing the right data…”
“Turn of your filters… Bye.”
Adriaan walked away lost in thought. He wondered why people who claim to know what’s important to them don’t just act on it. He then questioned whether it wasn’t the same for him. What were his goals anyway? Why did he bother getting up?
Start a company. See the Earth from outer space. It’s not like he had no dreams and goals. Just no clue how to get started. Once he graduated he landed a job in a software company. He had been bored out of his mind for the last ten months. Something had to change. He remembered his old colleague John from his previous job who had been working at his uncle’s store for over 25 years. Not that he wanted to but he always said that it was acceptable and even though he always was talking about wanting to do something else he never figured out what so he just stuck around. This was 6 years ago now. John still works at the store.
Suddenly a thought hit him. That’s it. People don’t go after their dreams because they have an easy option available. The thing that kept his old colleague in the store is that it was the default and safe option. He was pretty sure he could stay working at this company for the foreseeable future as well. Even though this would have been seen as a good thing by most people it freaked him out. This has to change he said to himself before getting up and walking up to his boss.
Okay, I have eliminated the easy option. Now what?
Adriaan no longer worked at the company.