There’s this episode on the series Black Mirror (season 1) that is dreadfully boring but deeply insightful and relatable. It is set in an automated future Britain where one must literally pedal their way to survival. These people, dressed in the most uninspiring grey tracks head to the gym every morning to cycle stationary bikes (more like spin without the dramatic instructors). They spend almost the entire day creating energy through cycling, for a living. The harder one cycles, the more money (tokens) they make. In the evening, they retire to box size rooms with giant screens where they do nothing but watch shows on TV that either increase or decrease their tokens. The following morning, they are back on the exercise bikes pedaling for survival, sweating for tokens with which to buy food from vending machines and watch shows. All day every day. Sigh.
Watching that episode frustrated me to my core. I was so angry at having wasted almost an hour of my limited time, siting through the most lackluster show ever. I cursed and prayed for it to end. I know I could have just moved on to something else but Black Mirror is so highly rated and I believed the writers had something very juicy for us at the end. They broke my heart.
Anyway, the past few days got me thinking about my life and the routine that it is. Perhaps it’s the reflections that come with lent, or maybe I am just at a turning point. Naturally, I kept making comparisons to that colorless episode of Black Mirror. I started to wonder if my life is entirely fulfilling and if not, what I could do to make it more gratifying.
Do you ever wonder who you are? Like seriously, why are you alive and kicking? What is your purpose in life? How did you end up where you are, and is that where you should be in the first place? Did you just settle for whatever presented itself then or were you blindly chasing what you perceived as good fortunes but when you laid your hands on it, turned out to be nothing as you imagined it would be? Are you happy? Are your current choices the best choices? Should the fear of the unknown keep you from discovering the truth?
Back to lent. We have 36 more days to go and the first four were a complete disaster for me. I will be seated at a corner getting in touch with my inner being. Seeking answers to what true happiness is and how to embrace it. Figuring how to strike a balance between the various facets of my life and giving my all in everything I do.
I am certainly not going to pedal a stationary bike if I can help it, but if I have to, I may as well get a kick out of it.