I am tired. Bone tired. Tired enough that flunking an orgo exam doesn’t faze me. I’m tired and I want to define what success means to mean for future reference, because if I don’t I’m not sure I’ll know when I have gotten there.
This has been a difficult semester for me. In the span of three months, I’ve lost three people who are cornerstones of my childhood: my first pet, my grandpa and my hero, Stan Lee. As much as each death hurts in unique ways, it’s also teaching me a lot about myself and what should and should not be important in my life. I actually had to rewrite this post because I didn’t see yesterday coming even though it is to be expected.
Death is certain. Life is not.
But in the right time and in the right place, both are instrumental to not only human existence, but existence at all, whether or not you believe in an afterlife. I envy these people (and dog’s) deaths because there was nothing they could have improved upon by the time they were taken.
They had lived perfectly imperfect lives that inspired masses, whether it was their family, their fans, or their neighbors.
Other problems that would normally put me under, bad grades, tricky personal relationships, the fact the my room’s comforter doesn’t match my bookshelf, all of that is immaterial. I’ve had several breakdowns these past couple weeks in the most strange places. A Lyft, in the bathroom of Alumnae Hall, in a cold sub 0C night by the lake, in Boston’s commuter rail…and that all doesn’t matter.
Death and tragedy shows you who your friends are. I have had truly wonderful people just sit beside me while I cried like a baby every time someone I cared about was gone. I’m also had people who I thought cared about me more brush over my feelings at this time, or even worse, not acknowledged them at all.
And learning this makes to redefine what I consider success in light of their deaths. Technically, I already am successful. I’m going to a great school for a great subject, and even with everything I complain about I am in a privileged position in life.
- There’s nothing wrong with being excitable. There’s nothing wrong with being an open book. These are two traits I hope to maintain as I get older. One of the reasons I was so excited to see my dog and my Grandpa was because both would be excited to see me. What’s the point of being in relationships that don’t excite me by their desire?
- I choose to live freely. I choose to be myself. Stan Lee lived to the greatest of his ability to the extent that he said he was excited about life at 70. I want to be that excited about my projects and relationships every single day until I die.
- In relationships, I want people who care and give effort, like these creatures did. You run to me when I come home; you ask about my thoughts; you inspire me.
- Publish what you write.
- Fund what you love.
- Stick close to God, whether he’s in the details or in the vast infinite mass that is the universe.