there's a concept in distributed computing known as eventual consistency. the idea is simple: if we wait long enough after any given set of inputs to a database, we will eventually be able to know what the actual state is, and so any further reads will be consistent with our expectations. eventual consistency is also known as optimistic replication, which i find beautiful because it sounds a lot like the way we explore the world: building divergent versions of ourselves to exist in different spaces while in search of a place which feels like home, multiversing until we eventually converge on something which resembles a coherent narrative.
these past few nights we've have been comparing notes on our childhoods—who were you before we met? who shaped you, broke your heart? who did you spend time with when you were first trying to find yourself in the world, sixteen and convinced that you were falling in love for the first time? let me take you to my hometown, show you who i was. you told me that you've gone through much of this life with a chip on your shoulder from everyone who has ever told you that you can't. the stoics would tell you that this is no way to live, but what do they know? i've spent this entire life building castles on top of this foundation of no's and maybe-you-should-play-it-safe, and when i look at you i think that maybe you understand what it feels like. i want to know everything you experienced in the world until now; who you were until we met and changed each other.
last night you asked me who i went to prom with and i said, i was the girl in high school who said 'fuck prom' and wrote a manifesto about it in the student paper that made a bunch of people mad at me. you laughed and said, that tracks. and well, doesn't it? i've always been in search of narrative violations. this has manifested as completing a not-very-useful pure mathematics degree simply because i was mad about having no female role models, quitting a job right before a promotion was made official, turning down an offer at one of the world's best AI labs to join an unnamed startup with no employees, breaking up with the perfect-on-paper boyfriend who wanted to marry me. i gave up on the linear path and wonder found me instead, wide-eyed and openhearted.
today i'm still constantly reinventing, reading and writing and building on top of shards of past selves. i started keeping a history of every biography i've ever written; past lives lived one paragraph at a time. i'm the same but different: hopeful and openhearted, but armed with all the jadedness of someone who has spent a nontrivial amount of time in the real world, still hellbent on challenging authority, still looking for so much more adventure. i've been writing on the internet since i was eleven years old—on Livejournal, Blogspot, freewebs dot com in the early 2000s, Twitter. there are six hundred million blogs on the internet, can you believe it? the Wayback Machine is a time capsule made up of autobiographies and declarations about ourselves and about each other, a system governed by a million tiny asynchronous updates.
the internet remembers all my past lives and i'm grateful, because i've always written clarity into existence; spilled thoughts out into the world until they converged to something lucid. everything i want today is a result of conflict and synchronicity, continuous reads-and-writes, time spent dabbling in lives-i-could've-lived. now i know what i want better: to forget the status games which people play—title-chasing, glory-seeking, inconsequential competitions, finite games. here's what i want instead: shared vision, that small-caps writer-dev existence, generative possibility, spending everyday with kids you want to build at midnight with. i'm still exploring, trusting that eventually it all makes sense.