You know what I’ve been thinking about most this week? Schrodinger’s Cat.
Science was always my least favorite subject in school. I felt like that part of my brain was never developed as well as it should have been…but this experiment has stuck with me for years and I’m usually reminded of it from time to time thanks to the movies, shows, and books that still reference it. Also, it could be because there was a cat involved and I am one known to love a cute little meowing ball of fur….despite the idea of the experiment. (It was just a thought experiment for those concerned.)
For those of you that this sounds familiar to, but you can’t quite think of why, here’s a brief recap:
Schrodinger came up with a hypothetical experiment involving a cat, a box, and some poison. The cat would be placed in the box with a sealed vial of poison that could break open at any random time. Since the cat was placed in the box, and no one knows if the poisonous gas was released, the cat is thought of as both alive and dead. As long as the door is closed, both possibilities exist. It is only by opening the box do we know which is true.
Why am I thinking about this a lot? Well, because I feel like sometimes in life we are put into situations where it might feel easier to “keep the cat in the box.” If the cat is in the box things are both good and bad. Some things are both true and not true. And sometimes opening that box can be scary…what if you don’t get the outcome that you want? What if your curiosity “killed the cat”?
I suppose digging deeper into this thought, it again ties back to the fear of failure and letting that keep you still. Sometimes it’s not even something intentional. Not applying for something because you are worried you aren’t going to get it (job, house, school, etc.) but you still keep daydreaming about it? That’s keeping it wrapped up in the closed box. Not trying something new but thinking about doing it all of the time? Still in the box. Afraid of taking something to the next level in fear of screwing it up? Yep. You guessed it. Still keeping it in that damn box. There might be a situation that you are thinking of right now that you know you are holding yourself back from.
And, you know what? There’s some level of comfort in keeping both possibilities alive, I will say, which is why sometimes things stay there for longer than they should have. But how long before we decide enough is enough and we’d rather know than walk around with our eyes shut? How long before we are certain that the poison went off…or maybe, at this point, the cat died from thirst or hunger from being in the box too long?
I say we open the box and find out. Good or bad.
Is anyone else going through this feeling? Feel free to reach out here or message me. We are all here to help lift each other up through all of life’s messy phases.