I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve read a lot of books and seen a lot of series that take place in a post-apocalyptic universe.
Whether it is due to a nuclear war, an alien invasion or a pandemia, it’s always about two things at the end of the day: how people manage to survive in this new world, and under which new structure the society will be organized.
It is very interesting to see that in most of these dystopian universes, the society is re-organized by a nazi-like authority classifying people for life, deciding who is going to live with privileges, who just survives, who dies. As if the only way to start from scratch was to go to an extreme, have a resistance fight from it, and then maybe find a middle ground.
And in some cases, the whole catastrophe has actually been orchestrated by human hands, as a necessary reboot for humanity.
This reboot idea can be found also in the characters themselves: the grey accountant who ends up leading the resistance, the CEO that appears to be a pussy, a mother who discovers she can be a fierce fighter when it’s about protecting her children.
In my younger years, I was fascinated by these dystopias, so fascinated that a part of me actually wished for something like that to happen. What I thought is that we needed to erase all of the modern society, be reduced to survival, in order to actually get to know ourselves and who we really are at the core.
Of course, if you ask me how I would behaved if something like that had to happen, I would say that I fancy picturing myself as a warrior, fighting for my survival and organizing the resistance to whatever bogus authority would be in charge. But of course, I have no idea how I would react. It’s not hard either to picturing myself screaming in a corner.
Still, I had this feeling that I needed to be in a surviving mode to discover my true self, because our world in not “real” enough, not “raw” enough.
A few years later, I understood that I was probably feeling that way because I wasn’t really good at adapting to this world.
In another way, it was easier for me to think that the world itself was the problem, not me.
See, it was the 90’s and the only kind of smart that was recognized and, even more, tested, was logical smart. People skills were not valued as they are now, emotional intelligence was not a thing.
For me, it was logical that since I had the best grades in school I should have been the most popular. Needless to say, it wasn’t the case but I couldn’t understand why. These kids who were popular without being as school-smart as I thought I was had to be cheating.
But, cheating at which game ? Cheating how? Deep in my denial, it didn’t occur to me that they may have something that I didn’t have. I didn’t understand the world I was living in, so I started to think that the world was just not the way it should be.
This idea of a reboot-to-real was then a very attracting idea for me: in a post-apocalyptic world, you can’t “cheat” anymore. What just matters is your survival skills. If I’m not the hero in this world it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be a hero in another world.
It probably helped me at that time to think like that, even if it was obviously a biased reasoning. Being a social person is not cheating, it’s just adapting to the world we live in. And this world is not more fake than the worlds in post-apocalyptic books.
I understand that now, but deep down I’m not totally there yet. I still find it cheating when a guy at my work accesses a management position whereas he couldn’t do the specific work his team members are doing. For me, being able to do office politics and showing leadership is still not a true valuable skill, and I still get frustrated when it happens even if I know I shouldn’t be.
However, there’s some kind of progress here, because now I’m not fantasizing anymore about a total reboot of the world. Instead, I want to work a little bit harder to find my place in this world. And if you have read my very first post you know that I’m ready to do that work and to make my own reboot in order to find where I belong.
I always heard that we should just accept the things that are not under our control, and address the ones that we can have an actual impact on. Still, it took me some time to properly understand it. We are social animals, and we need social connections to survive and thrive in any world. Instead of expecting the world to change to be the one where we would perfectly fit, it’s time to find a way to be the best I can be in this world. And that, my friends, depends only on me.
Anyway, I see that these post-apocalyptic stories are becoming very mainstream these days, and part of me wishes that there are people somewhere who could relate to my story. If it’s the case, please reach to me!