A blog that needs work

There is no undo

I see life as a series of choices.

Choices to take this way to work, or that course. Choices to how we respond, or how we behave.

Positive choices. Choices to be who we want to be. Choices to share ourselves with others. Choices to make the world better.

Negative choices. Choices to hide ourselves. Choices to push away others. Choices to hurt others.

You may not agree that life is all about choices: It is complex, and full of many unexpected events—some unprecedented, even. Things just happen, and sometimes our choices are made by others.

But looking at life as a set of random events does nothing for our own agency. We can't do anything about randomness, we can do things about choices—especially the ones that we make—even if they are affected by all the 'chaos' that happens.

Instead, we focus on the choices we can make. The choices about our own lives. The choices about how we respond to the world we live in.

Every choice we make matters. Every choice is made against other choices, against other possibilities and outcomes. Every choice forms a vast web of branching paths and nodes. Every choice creates a unique path for us that no one else can claim, a path that is uniquely ours. Every choice we make is a decision to not do other things.

But our path goes in only one direction: Inexorably forward. Every choice that is made—no matter the consequence—is fixed; we can make other choices after-the-fact, but the initial choice and its repercussions has already taken effect. We cannot backtrack on our path; we cannot undo.

There will be times where we feel stuck, times where we feel like our lives are out of control, times where we feel like we have lost our way and "gone off the path". There will be times where it feels like we are on paths no one has yet explored, times where we feel alone and without support on our path, times when it feels like we have no choice at all in our path—that it is predetermined. Even in these hard times, when our choices are not easy or easy to see, we still have choices that we can make, decisions that take us forward towards where we want to be. What path we take is entirely up to us.

Every mistake, every failed experiment, every loss; though these too affect us and define us, they also give us opportunity to reflect on the choices we've made, and the choices we make in the future. To learn and grow. To revisit past decisions and work towards different paths in life, paths that are ultimately of our own choosing.

We neither need agonize every choice, nor wander aimlessly: We only need be aware of the choices we make, that they change the world around us, that they change us. To know that we must make every choice count. To know that no one knows the right path to take, or can lead the same path as us. To know that our life is a series of choices.

Though we are all on different paths, we must continune to move forward, because we cannot ever go back. There is no undo.

Nicholas Terwoord

A self-titled software developer, "code archaeologist" (whatever that means), and professional geek. Spends too much of his time coming up with new projects, and not enough time working on them. Likes video games, board games, anime, manga, and Pathfinder / Dungeons and Dragons (GOTO: Line #1 - Geek).