We exist in an age of limitless optionality. There are few universal social mores to check our behavior, few cultural expectations to direct our courses. No particle of personal identity can be taken for granted. No molecule of meaning may be presumed upon. Within the expansive restrictions of law, you can pretty much dress, say, live, and do whatever you’d like.
On paper, this landscape of unbounded freedom seems like an unmitigated boon. On the ground, it’s experienced as existentially exhausting and practically paralyzing.[…]