As we all know, I love Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as her adventures pretty much mirror my own adventures in some magical, bizarre, and transformative way. In this particular chapter, Advice from a Caterpillar, Alice comes across a blue Caterpillar that is sitting on top of a magical mushroom. The Caterpillar starts questioning Alice and she admits to the Caterpillar that she doesn't know who she is anymore; that her identity is so confused, that her thoughts no longer seem to be her own, and she can't seem to remember this poem that she knows. Before the Caterpillar leaves, he tells Alice that one side of the mushroom will make her shorter and one side will make her taller, depending on which she eats, she will then enter into two different experiences. She wraps her hands around the mushroom, not knowing which side is which, and breaks off two parts of the mushroom. Alice then comes across a Pigeon that accuses Alice of being a serpent, which causes her to doubt not only who she is, but also what she is. Alice tries to level out her height and eats one part that turns her to the smallest size imaginable, and then eats the other part, and grows as tall as the trees. Alice finally starts to think clearly, and realizes how much she needs to consume of each side of the mushroom to bring herself back to her normal height in order for her to continue on in Wonderland. She starts to really think of who she is and what choices she is making. This chapter represents change and growing up. The game in Wonderland is change and it's a game that Alice is trying to learn how to play.
I talked a few weeks ago about how too many options can lead, not to liberation, but to dissatisfaction, and the importance of simplicity and now I am extending that thought process and talking about choice. Similar to Alice's experiences, we are given tons of options each and every day that correlate to making choices; those choices require an understanding of who you are and what you represent.
Do I stay up all night with friends, even though I have work in the morning? Do I cheat on my girlfriend, because I can't control my addictions? Do I date the guy that is safe, because he won't hurt me? Do I go on this extravagant trip, when I have student loans to pay off? Do I feel better about myself, if I drink this alcohol? Do I join this startup, and leave my stable paycheck?
What I admired about Alice's approach was the fact that she stopped and realized that she didn't know who she was, and she didn't trust her choices. She realized that upon entering into Wonderland, she needed to realize who she was, what she represented, and what she wanted in life.
I recently was at a dinner where we discussed the confounding assertions made about entrepreneurship and startups and it's varied attributes that we find ever so appealing. There was a discussion floating around about how we choose this sort of life. The sort of life that allows for flexibility; a type of freedom to create and do things that you wouldn't normally do in a normal job. A curious omission that was left out of the conversation was the ramifications of choosing this life. The tolls that it takes on your body. The psychological discomfort that it brings your mind. The unrealistic reality that you live in, that you believe exists. I've spent many of my posts documenting my experiences with entrepreneurship, startups and consulting and find it to be one of the diciest moves one can make, but I really would never change it for the world. The escapism, the individuality, the opportunity that it offers, is unlike anything you will ever receive in conformity. I've grown up a lot lately and still have a lot of growing up to do, but what I have to take responsibility for is my choices.
It is my choice. It is always my choice. It will remain my choice. Stand by your choices and do right by yourself, and then you'll naturally do right by others. Make a choice. Here's a totally soul-searchingly, awesome song for you to ponder about the choices you make in life... Thank you Anthony And The Johnsons for choosing to make this masterpiece.
Coco wears an Isabel Marant Polka Dot Dress, Etro Paisley Swing Coat, Prada Leopard and Suede Sandals, Wolford Opaque 80 Tights, Saint Laurent Fringe Bag and Vintage Earrings.
*How Korean do I look in photo numero uno? I'm totally channeling my Momma circa 1978.