Imagine. You’re playing The Sims 4 and have managed to create your picture-perfect family. Sure, they’re nothing more than an algorithm, blips and bloops…maybe even sort of worthless. But they’re fun and you’ve grown to enjoy them in some far-fetched way regardless of their lack of sentient thought…or existence.
Just as one of your characters cheers in Simlish that she is expecting a baby…the game freezes.
This can’t be it. Wait a minute.
At this point, you’re starting to sweat a little bit. You press every button on the controller. You go online to google “fixing Sims 4 freezing.” But really, there’s only one thing you can do.
We live in what I’d like to believe is a better world, technologically speaking. We have backups to our backups, autosaving, clouds, and anything you could imagine in case the unthinkable happens. It wasn’t always this way, and it isn’t always that way either.
So find yourself in that situation. Your phone is frozen. It’s a Samsung and maybe it overheated. Your laptop is hacked.
The only answer is to Press Reset, and start over…and you know it.
But it’s hard, isn’t it?
What if you didn’t back up everything? What happens if the thing you were working on won’t come back? You hesitate…but you still have to press reset.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
The Reset button exists for a reason. We must reset. Some days, years, months and situations beckon us to start over from scratch. It is neither bad or good–imagine a world where we can’t reset; would it solve any of our problems? Would everything be saved?
Of course not. We’d be stuck in a world where nothing worked. We would be frozen in time. Inefficient. Maybe the old things would still exist, but like the past…we wouldn’t be able to get to them. Not in a way that is progressive or meaningful.
What are these barriers that keep people from reaching anywhere near their real potential? The answer to that can be found in another question and that’s this: Which is the most universal human characteristic: fear, or laziness?
But it’s so damn hard, isn’t it? What happens after the Reset? How do we go from here?
We try again. Maybe we fret, and with this clean slate, we try to do all that we did before. But who can be sure it will be exactly the same? The past becomes a haunting ghost; memories lingering over our shoulders, but unclear, and unresponsive to our calls. We push forward, trying to attempt to recarve a path from memory.
We embrace the reset. It isn’t how we expected. It isn’t how we wanted it to happen. But, it is a moment to realize that we could have done things differently. We could’ve prepared better. And next time, we will. And now, with a clean slate, we make and tell new stories, and forge a new path.
Starting over is not easy. Trust me, I’ve done it more times than I can count. Our culture shames those who reset too often. Those who don’t hold jobs for long enough. Who move too much. Who change majors. That go to jail and get out, with nothing. Who change their entire identity. Maybe even changes their hair color too frequently.
Resetting is not throwing away. It is not total erasure; after all, those things existed, and nothing will stop that. Even if you can’t access those Sims you created, you still remember them, and you still played the game. Even if the photos of your grandmother were lost in the flood–the memories persist, still changed you, and will still matter after they are gone.
Ask Yourself: What if the best version of your world exists only after you start over?