You never forget your first love.
That feeling when you surrender to the unknown for the very first time.
That moment when you connect with something outside of yourself, and everything falls into place.
I fell in love – for the first time, earlier than most kids do. But my mistress wasn’t a pretty girl with a disarming smile and mean demeanor.
I fell in love with mathematics.
I would never forget when I solved a problem on my own for the very first time. That realization that you can actually use an equation to predict the future. To find answers. To be in control of an outcome.
It felt like I had some kind of a super power. I would look at numbers and they would tell me a story. A riddle. They would provoke me. And I fell deep down into the rabbit hole. I studied calculus and algebra. I flirted with probabilities and game theory. I built and burned empires of geometry and roman symbols in my head.
There was a time when I really wanted to be an engineer. I was a 20-something punk with big dreams and unrealistic expectations. I wanted to make something out of myself. People told me I was smart, but I never really thought of myself as one. Maybe because I didn’t believe in myself back then but I believed in what I was doing. It was pure passion. Mathematics and numbers.
Until money came in to become the bigger number in the equation.
Then one day, you wake up to find yourself fighting for a dream you no longer want.
We all like to believe that we somehow have control over our fate. We want to convince ourselves that by working hard and making smart choices we can actually find success and happiness. But the truth is, life is random. We are controlled by luck, by timing, by chance.
You study for an exam, it is 50/50.
You invest in the stock market, it is 50/50.
You gamble with your life savings on a roulette table, between black and red, it is really 50/50.
You fall in love, it is 50/50.
You pray to God and it is 50/50.
30 years deeper into the rabbit hole and complex algorithms, and it feels like most of my life outcomes have been, more or less, 50/50.
Life either happens to you . . or it doesn’t!
I used the magic of numbers to climb up this earthly world, not knowing it would ultimately be my downfall.
I wasn’t wrong.
I was simply fooled by randomness!
“Be unprepared. That’s my motto. Be unprepared, and let life overwhelm you.” – Marty Rubin.