Zooming Out On Tiny Bicycles

fourth year mk manoylov

photo by noah buchanan

photo by noah buchanan

Forrest Gump says life is like a box of chocolates. I say life like building a home in the most random places.

Look at this photo. Look at how small the bicycle is, suggesting a small human has ridden it, propped it against the side of their door, and entered their home.

I wonder what this person thought about on their bike ride. A fraughtful fight with a lover? The upcoming mortgage payment of their (literally) tiny house? To that tiny human, their bike is normally sized. Their home is normally sized. Their problems, too, seem normally sized.

But when you zoom out, you see how tiny they actually are. The bike, the home, it all looks cartoonish and fictitious. You, the human holding this tiny piece of paper walking across this tiny campus - your problems are like that too.

You walk around this tiny play-set of a university with tiny buses and a tiny stadium and hills (actually, the hills aren’t tiny, but still). Whether it’s your GPA, relationship, or search for a job, every problem you have seems tiny when you zoom out a bit.

I’m reminded of talking to my grandfather — now past Forrest Gump’s age — about his youth, and the jovial light-heartedness with which he spoke about his girlfriend troubles or university struggles. They’re tiny bikes in his garage that he’s outgrown. Getting older is the mind’s way of zooming out, looking at all the tiny places we’ve lived in.

Zoomout, friend, and your problems will seem as cartoonish and small as the contents of the photo.

Happy Monday