A friend of mine was in from out of town this week. We went out for drinks the other night. He’s in the process of buying a brownstone in Brooklyn, and his wife is pregnant with their first child. Both pretty huge life changes. He was talking about how before the baby was on its way, other married people at his office would try and explain the importance of having children, how it was going to teach him the true meaning of love or whatever, and like, how it makes you really put things into perspective or something. He talked about how annoying this all was because he was already married at that point and basically on board with the whole having kids idea, so he never understood why were they trying to sell him so hard on something he’d pretty much bought? This is a phenomenon we have all experienced. People try to sell you on getting married, or moving to a new city, or some other major life change into which they themselves have invested huge portions of their self-identity and future prospects. From the outside, this can appear off-putting and sad. It feels like they are trying to rationalize and defend their own decisions, and that the best way they’ve discovered to do this is to try and convince you to make the same decisions, thereby validating them. But I don’t actually think this is what’s going on. I think what it is in the end is just a lack of imagination. Life is difficult and very complicated and it’s stressful to navigate it with any kind of confidence. So when you do finally pull the trigger on something and decide that it is the right path for you, it becomes very hard to imagine that it’s not just the right path for everyone. It’s not that you’re trying to validate your choices by getting other people on board, it’s that from where you’re standing nothing else makes sense. Why WOULDN’T you get married, or go back to school, or buy a 20% stake in a Subway franchise? You’ve crunched the numbers and weighed all of your options and nothing else makes sense. FOR ANYONE. Of course, the only way the world even functions is by the simple fact that this isn’t even remotely true. Everyone has to carve out their own path, and sometimes you even have to carve out a different path for yourself than the one you were originally so certain was the right one. The world is always changing and you just do what you can to keep up. Yesterday, it was trampoline accidents, today it’s exercise ball FAILs, and who even knows what tomorrow brings. Relax. We will all find out soon enough.

These guys definitely know what I am talking about when I talk about MAKING INTELLIGENT DECISIONS. (Via TheHighDefinite.)

Comments (20)
  1. Not even exercise ball accidents can make “Danger Zone” fun to listen to. MUTE.

  2. If by “Danger Zone” they mean “The Emergency Room”, then yes. Yes, we will take a ride into the Danger Zone, thank you very much.

  3. An exercise ball in an enclosed trampoline? Way to cut your own path.

  4. So Gabe, your little story hits a bit too close to home. My friend had talked about going to graduate school, and when I finally quit the awful job we both worked at, I started encouraging her to look into grad schools, etc. What I’m trying to say is that I hope I haven’t doomed my friend. : (

  5. Amateurs! When I was in high school we had a mattress lying on the floor of our living room for a few months for reasons I can’t recall, and we would frequently make a running jump onto an exercise ball (landing on your stomach is key, kids) and then roll to the edge of the mattress where the collision would send us flying onto the mattress. Perfectly safe and super fun. Would recommend for EVERYONE.

    • I recommend a little game called “go troops go.” works best on children ages 8-osteoarthrisits. You get in a little line next to a somewhat-disposable couch and yell “Go Troops Go” as you shoulder-roll over the armrest onto the couch. when you land, immediately line up again behind the last troop. You are eventually diuzzy and your rolls begin to overlap. Hilarity ensues.

      Also: caterpillar wars. climb headfirst into sleeping bags and wrestle. This one is pretty simple.

      P.S. growing up in Maine is only as fun as you make it!

  6. Planned Parenthood viral marketing at its best.

  7. Does anyone else describe Videogum to their friends as “Popculture and occasionally amazing self-help insight blog”?

  8. Ahhh, the answer to the age old question: What happens when an immovable object meets a very bouncy force.

    Actually, analyzing these videos would make a pretty awesome physics project…

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