When things are going really badly for me, it helps to think about the concept of the multiverse.
I don’t know that I even believe it’s a theory that could be accurate; it certainly sounds too complicated for most regular human brains to comprehend.
But it it’s usually comforting to think that however miserable I am in a given moment, somewhere there’s a universe with a version of myself who isn’t miserable–infinite universes, actually (hence the “multi”).
So yesterday, for essentially 24 hours straight, I told myself the decisions and situations leading to the following were only happening in this particular universe:
- My computer, which I had been planning to use to work from home the next day because my office was closed but I’ve been so overworked that I wanted to try to close the gap, suddenly died the night before
- When I woke up at 6am, my apartment building didn’t have hot water
- I didn’t take a shower
- I went to my polling place at 6:30 but deemed the line too long because I needed to get to the office as early as possible to get my work laptop
- I arrived at work at 7 only to find out the building didn’t open till 7:30
- The train closed its doors 2 seconds before I could make it through them
- When I got home, my apartment building still didn’t have hot water, so I still didn’t take a shower
- I couldn’t find my voting card that would’ve given me a free pass to the front, so I had to wait in line like almost everyone else when I returned to the polling place
- My district happened to be the most populated one in line at that time, so I stood in a hot hallway without taking off my coat because I was still wearing my pajama shirt
- After returning home, they started doing aggressively loud, wall-shaking, head-pounding construction in the apartment next door that I had to work through for 4 more hours
- A train trip that takes an hour almost every time took an hour and a half
In some other universe, there was a version of me who was not having the worst day she could remember in a long time. In some other universe, there was a version of me who was having the best day she could remember in a long time. And in some other universes, there were versions of me who were having regular days they wouldn’t remember at all.
So I know I’m supposed to try to make myself feel better about the direction my country has taken during this election–a direction it’s been quietly heading toward for so long but as optimists at heart we’ve refused to see it–by thinking of some other universe where hate has not won out.
But the problem with multiple universes, if they do exist, is that we haven’t yet figured out how to transfer between them, so it doesn’t really matter if in some other one America has not endorsed a tragedy.
So, it’s just not all that comforting to think about at the moment.
Which is okay, because right now we have plenty to think about in the universe we’re in.