“Finite Creatures: – At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?”
I don’t remember exactly when I realized I was not immortal; it very well might have been something at the back of my mind since a very young age. I’ve been to my fair share of funerals already: my great-grandmother on my mum’s side lived close to 100 but i remember her last few years; a great-uncle passed away in my early teens due to lung cancer; my grandfather (dad’s side) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but fought for a few years until he passed away around 2007; an uncle a few years later due to…unfortunate circumstances; and my grandfather (on my mum’s side), who I was really close to had a stroke last year.
Looking back, I don’t think I’ve really coped with any of it. All these deaths affected me profoundly, and has instilled in me the believe that I won’t be alive forever from a very young age and thus have to enjoy everything while I can. Because of this I don’t plan ahead all that much, instead choosing to take everything as it comes, “living in the moment”. Yes, I made plans to go to college, decisions for my career, but I don’t think I believed in them all that much: If i was going to die anyways, why bother? I’d much rather have fun, play and just enjoy every living moment, doing what I want when I want. It seems to me that the responsible thing to do was to plan it all out and work towards it, but my heart just wasn’t in it.
There are so many experiences out there that is out of my grasp that I yearn for those experiences instead of the limited perspectives we are privy to enjoying on this planet. I want to travel the stars, visit foreign and exotic planets; I want to explore places yet unseen, untouched by humanity. The universe is so vast and unimaginably infinite, yet our lives are so short that we can never appreciate all there is to experiences while stuck here in this tiny little corner of the galaxy. Are we destined to become a spacefaring race? Or are we doomed to live out our existence just here on planet Earth?
“I don’t want to be human. I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter. Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can’t even express these things properly, because I have to—I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid, limiting spoken language, but I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws, and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me. I’m a machine, and I can know much more.
—John Cavil, Cylon Model Number One, “No Exit”
Heavy thoughts (lol) I’ve no illusions that I will get to see the world as I wish it to be, not in this consciousness anyways. This “Me” might not be immortal, but his ideas could be, and that’s why I believe I chose to pursue product design as career path. Bringing the unimaginable to existence, sculpting reality into what I would imagine it to be, all while pushing the boundaries of what is physically possible. Ideas are forever, and I hope some of mine can resonate into the infinite 🙂