“All through my life I’ve had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.”
“No,” said the old man, “that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This is, as it happens, post number forty-two. A fact I realized after I had decided to write it, and a coincidence of some high improbability, unless you consider that in a universe where randomness and chaos are the background noise of life, it’s probably not that improbable after all.
As you may or may not have deduced, I just finished re-reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide books. If you aren’t familiar with this phenomenon, you’re probably wondering why I’m making such a big deal about post number forty-two, and I would highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the novels, at least because they have the tendency to make you simultaneously realize how strange the world is and grateful that it’s at least it’s strange in a way that is familiar to you. If you lack the time or brain cells to spare for this (I don’t blame you–it’s an adventure), I will briefly explain that the underrunning plotline involves a very ancient alien race who builds a supercomputer in order to know the Answer to the great Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Predictably, they did not actually know the question itself, so upon getting the answer of Forty-two, they were confused. That computer then designed an even more complex computer that would deduce the Question, but was unfortunately destroyed five minutes before completing its program in order for a different alien race to build an intergalactic bypass. That supercomputer was the Earth.
My point to all this is in making reference to things that are improbable.
Sometimes I feel as though I must have been a very ironically inept criminal in a past life, because I seem to have improbably bad luck. I know everyone has those moments of strange and unexpected things going wrong, but it seems that these freak accidents happen to me a lot. I make mistakes just the same as anyone else, but it’s often something no one could have predicted, at just the wrong time or just the wrong place, and not entirely or even at all my fault.
Maybe it’s a symptom of Imposter Syndome, but I often feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. Or rather, that nothing I’ve accomplished is a result of pure, hard work. I feel like some things have gone disastrously, unpredictably bad and then somehow have worked out, but in the end those achievements are tainted and it doesn’t feel like I deserved them. And then other things feel like they’ve come out of the aether, and I’ve just been given things I didn’t deserve. I haven’t felt like I’ve earned much from sheer hard work.
And other times, the strange coincidences of life make you smile. Like finding out that someone you respect and admire shares a passion of yours, or meeting an old friend by chance halfway across the world, or finding some little thing in common with a stranger. Or the series of improbable events that run our lives.
Since last I posted, I’ve started working at a local hospital with a group that happens to be doing some clinical research that’s very close to my realm of interests. It’s a short term thing, because it’s part of an exchange that is funding my return to Helsinki in three weeks. The world is full of crazy, nonsensical, beautiful things.
I believe the more open you are, the more you go out into the world, the more you say yes, the more crazy, nonsensical, beautiful things you will experience. And the more crazy, nonsensical, beautiful things you experience, I think the more you learn to adapt to the crazy things, laugh at the nonsensical things, and appreciate the beautiful things. And I think you develop some perspective on Life, the Universe, and Everything.