“Make for yourself a world you can believe in. It sounds simple, I know. But it’s not. Listen, there are a million worlds you could make for yourself. Everyone you know has a completely different one — the woman in 5G, that cab driver over there, you. Sure, there are overlaps, but only in the details. Some people make their worlds around what they think reality is like. They convince themselves that they had nothing to do with their worlds’ creations & continuations. Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds & three-day weekends & dial tones & skinned knees & physics & driftwood & emerald earrings & books dropped in bathtubs & holes in guitars & plastic & empathy & hardwood & heavy water & high black stockings & the history of the Vikings & brass & obsolescence & burnt hair & collapsed soufflés & the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting & all the other things that just happen & are. But you want to make for yourself a world that is deliberately & meticulously personalized. A theater for your life, if I could put it like that. Don’t live an accident. Don’t call a knife a knife. Live a life that has never been lived before, in which everything you experience is yours and only yours. Make accidents on purpose. Call a knife a name by which only you will recognize it. Now I’m not a very smart man, but I’m not a dumb one, either. So listen: If you can manage what I’ve told you, as I was never able to, you will give your life meaning.”

— Jonathan Safran Foer, A Convergence of Birds

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