The idea of multiverses has been big lately, in this one at least.
The theory goes that the world we live in is just one of an infinite number of universes, stretching the definition of universe from everything that exists to everything that we can see.
Movies, books and more have been toying with the idea of an infinite number of universes, opened up with the snap of a finger.
In “Dark Matter,” author Blake Crouch details a harrowing journey across multiverses and puts a good spin on the possibility of other worlds.
“Imagine you’re a fish, swimming in a pond. You can move forward and back, side to side, but never up out of the water. If someone were standing beside the pond, watching you, you’d have no idea they were there. To you, that little pond is an entire universe. Now imagine that someone reaches down and lifts you out of the pond. You see that what you thought was the entire world is only a small pool. You see other ponds. Trees. The sky above. You realize you’re a part of a much larger and more mysterious reality than you had ever dreamed of.”
Theories like that, in this world, make me think too much. I’m prone to anxiety and the idea that Crouch puts forth in “Dark Matter” says that these multiverses are created by each individual’s decisions. So, that means there could be worlds out there where I can see the outcome of everything for which I’ve ever written a pros versus cons list.
The character in Crouch’s book searches for these worlds, and although he may be a villian (in some universes), I couldn’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing.
Imagine the possibilities of being able to see each path I could’ve taken.
I could find where I would be now if I hadn’t decided to move to Alaska three years ago. That’s a big decision, isn’t it? And it’s something I often wonder when I’m warming up on a cold, dark winter day or, lately, when I’m simmering on a scorching hot Alaska summer evening without a New Jersey beach on which to cool down. Is it blashpemy to buy an air conditioner in Alaska? Do they even sell them in Alaska?
The version of me that lives in New Jersey definitely still owns an air conditioner.
I don’t even want to think of where I would be if I had chosen to go to Rutgers University instead of Boston University. I know that, for sure, I’d have a lot less debt and entirely different life experiences, but what else would change past those four years?
Even if I check in on the smaller decisions, it could lead down entirely different trails.
What if I chose to go run Lost Lake Trail the other evening instead of Tonsina. I couldn’t find someone to run with me, so I decided to stick to some more tourist trafficked trails, but if I chose Lost Lake I would’ve, quite literally, taken a different path.
And then, what would I have found? I heard it’s been recently groomed in preparation for the Lost Lake Run, so only good things, I hope. Or, if I let my anxiety get the better of me, maybe I would’ve run into a bear or a few angry ptarmigan ready to protect their roost from seemingly wayward runners.
Well, on this path that I’m leading, I decided to head out into the woods for a few days. Hopefully, it’ll ease some of the tension.
As for the universe where I decide to stay home and reread “Dark Matter,” or rewatch “Into the Spiderverse,” who knows how anxious she’ll be this time next week.