“Do you ever wonder if you’re doing the wrong thing?”

“What, like, not eating right? I do that all the time.”

“On a bigger scale, though. Like, what if I’m supposed to be this great violinist, but I’ll never know?”

“You could pick up a violin.”

“But if that’s not it, there’s an infinite number of things I could be good at, and I might never find out. Every second splinters into trillions of possibilities. How are you supposed to know which options are the right ones?”

“Some of them are obvious, though. If you eat the right foods, you’ll live longer. If you make the correct turns, your car doesn’t fall off the road.”

“But what if I should fall off the road? What if I have a life-changing experience in the hospital that makes the world a better place? I could end up starting a charity that really makes a difference.”

“You could start a charity now.”

“Michael J. Fox could have started his Parkinson’s foundation at any time, but he didn’t until he got Parkinson’s. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”

“So, what, you’re going to start doing bad thing in case they make your life better?”

“See, that sounds insane, too, which only makes the problem worse. But you hear stories of people turning their life around after they hit rock bottom. It’s not a good thing to be at rock bottom, but some people have turned it into a positive.”

“Maybe the real good choice is being able to make the best of a bad situation.”

“Sure, but what choices do you have to make to get good at that? Classic chicken-and-egg problem.”

“Maybe you should spend this life making a flow chart.”

“Yeah, but that’d only be one data point. I wish I could keep starting over and seeing which path was best. Then I could try them all. As it is, every choice closes off infinity billion others.”

“Nobody ever said life was easy.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t expect it to be so… this. You start making decisions as a kid, and those are the most important ones. What if my choice of favorite toy or what I said to certain people cascaded into who I am now? I’m happy with me, but what if I’d been a little stronger or something? And that’s not even counting stuff I didn’t have any control over. If I had different genes, a different birthday, or met different people, I’d be someone totally different.”

“Does this conversation change anything?”

“I don’t think so, but there’s no way to find out.”