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The Midnight Library

Last updated Feb 17, 2022 Edit Source

by Matthew Haig

A really good fiction read on optionality, the meaning of life and what it means to be a truly happy with your life.

“I think it is easy to imagine there are easier paths,” she said, realising something for the first time. “But maybe there are no easy paths. There are just paths. In one life, I might be married. In another, I might be working in a shop. I might have said yes to this cute guy who asked me out for a coffee. In another I might be researching glaciers in the Arctic Circle… Who knows? Every second of every day we are entering a new universes. And we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people and to other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good and degrees of bad.”

“There are patterns to life… Rhythms. It is so easy, while trapped in just one life, to imagine that times of sadness or tragedy or failure or fear are a result of that particular existence. That it is a by-product of living a certain way, rather than simply living… sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness.”

“She realized that you could be as honest as possible in life, but people only see the truth if it is close enough to their reality.” As Thoreau wrote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”


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