A few years ago I stumbled on a browser-based game called Every day the same dream. It’s a short game–should only take you 15 minutes to play the entire thing, should you wish to do that now–but impactful. It’s about a white-collar worker stuck in a rut. The premise of the game is simple: Every day you follow simple clues that lead you to experience one new thing, that breaks your routine a bit, until the ultimate routine-breaking act.
Considering the game was made in six days, it’s expertly crafted. It wraps up a lot of the existential dread (or boredom, more accurately) I, and I think many others, feel day-to-day while providing a sense of catharsis. I wanted to pay tribute to that. Use the game as a way to verbalize my thoughts about being white-collar, living comfortably but perhaps passionless. But I wanted to do it in a more optimistic way than the game.
That’s where the idea sprung from. A combination of my own thoughts and feelings about my life, made digital by this game. Where I changed course from the game is in my approach to the message. Life often feels like its not in your control, and in many ways it may not be, but there are certain things we can do to engage with the world around us. Change our routine a little bit. Eat healthier. Find new perspectives on the things we interact with every day, like leaving from the back door of your house instead of the front. Taking a second to notice a cardinal building a nest. All of it is meaningful if you choose to search for that meaning.
I hope the story isn’t too navel-gazing. It’s a privilege to be who I am, with the job I have, and the existential panic I sometimes deal with makes that easy to forget. Taking control of the small things, inserting minor changes in the day-to-day, can help to keep that in perspective.