It’s not that life came with a handbook

“It’s not that life came with a handbook.”
Me (I think)

The end of the year was — again — a time of reflection for me. It was actually pretty useful, mostly because I did a backup of my notes about myself and then selected only the notes that were directly useful for me in the future and discarded the rest. Given that the backup will endure, no big loss, but no information paralysis due to the amount of collected information either.

And sometimes you have to lose a lot of baggage to be able to walk into the future.

One line that came back to me again and again is the title of this posting:

“It’s not that life came with a handbook.”

(alternatively, “It’s not that life did come with a handbook”)

Sure, religious types will disagree, not matter how incoherent and thick their ‘handbook’ is, but that sentence rings true to me. It’s a bit like Sartre:

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

only less accusing. Yup, I might be responsible for what I do, but I am not omniscient — I can only make educated guess of what will happen (and I sure as hell should make educated guesses). But there is no way of knowing what will happen. So, even with an interpretation of responsibility independent of fault:

“I didn’t say it was my fault. I said it was my responsibility. I know the difference.”
Rose Walker, in Sandman #60: “The Kindly Ones:4” by Neil Gaiman

I prefer theΒ “It’s not that life came with a handbook.” very much to the Sartre quote. And I created a nice image, using a background I got from tumblr, to remind me of this quotation.

Not sure how I did get that quote — the “It’s not that life came with a handbook” one. Google did not find it. So I assume it was my idea … and I am certainly going to make it my motto. It’s a nice cushion to protect me from trying to be perfect (which is impossible as what is perfection varies depending on the observer), from wanting to live for others — and to remind me to find my own way in life.

So the cracks between the years did contain some gold. πŸ™‚


P.S.: It would be interesting to write such a handbook — but then again, it might spoil the fun.


  1. Maybe you don’t find it on Google because the saying goes “Life doesn’t come with a(n owner’s) manual.”

  2. I can live with that, you know, improving things, forging words a bit better … πŸ˜‰

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