If the sixteen-year-old me choose to pursue mathematics instead of graphic design, I could now have been a climate scientist by now, or an astronomer. If I’d stuck with graphic design, I might have had a top-notch portfolio, work that is featured in one of those glossy print magazines. And if I’d taken hockey or cycling more serious, maybe I could be a professional in that. If I hadn’t chosen for a place at a startup as my first job, or in fact; if any of my decisions would have been different, well, then things would be very different.

Oh — how I’d love to be a fighter pilot and fly at supersonic speeds, or be an architect to skyscrapers to my name. The sad truth is, I’ll never be either of those. It a factual sense, it’s impossible to have a complete life. We’re left with fragments we either get or choose. Every act destroys an alternative. Nobody can have children and not have children, be married and be alone, live in the Netherlands and Shanghai. It’s tragic how we can, at best, have only half the things we desperately want from life. Yet on a brighter note it’s nice that at least we get to choose which half.

Visual by Rob Juárez.