Sometimes I wish that I could map out my own life. Sit down with a piece of paper and chart out when and where main events of my life will take place, where I’ll live, all the people I’ll love. People say that they can choose their own fate, make their own decisions, choose where they’ll end up, but that’s only partly true. Sometimes, even the most organized people can’t plan for life.
I haven’t really been sleeping lately, I just keep thinking about the things I’ve done and all the things I haven’t. The items on my mental list of dreams that have always been pushed away because maybe I’ll have more money later, or be in a better place, or have the guy and the house and the perfect school, and everything will just magically fall into place.
I’ve recently lost an friend in an unfortunate accident, and shortly after my father had a stroke. Not surprisingly it’s made me think a lot about my own life, and I’ve been looking at things a little more closely. I don’t want to be that person who has all of these amazing hopes and dreams and never ever achieves them because I’m always thinking that I’ll have time when maybe I won’t. I don’t want to be known as the girl who could have done great things, who always wanted to move south but never did, who talked big but never made it out. I want to be taken seriously and do great things. I want great things and more than anything I want to have the time to be able to do them.
I hate it when people say, “I’m sorry.” They’re not sorry, they’re not. They don’t know, they don’t get it. It’s just a filler when someone doesn’t know what to say, and I know this because I’ve done it. I think that more than anything people are only asking you how you’re doing because they’re hoping that you’ll say that you’re fine and they’ll never have to ask it again. Wala, you’re cured.
I feel selfish for being upset. For hurting. This shouldn’t be about me, but it feels like it is anyways. I don’t want my Dad to be sick and I don’t want him to hurt. I don’t want to push him through stores in a wheelchair or help him take a shower and I don’t want to not be able to give him a hug and feel him hug me right back. I don’t want that. I don’t want his life to be cut short but it will be and that makes me mad too, but I don’t really know what to do about it. So, I’ve just been eating a lot of fruit loops and not grading any papers. Sometimes I feel myself about to cry and I don’t even know why, I just can’t keep it together all the time and it’s hard to try to.
Maybe what scares me more than anything is that feeling of uncertainty. I’m seeing all of this absolute love and kindness pour in from everywhere for my parents and it just makes me think about what an enormous impact they’ve had on everyone. Especially me. What if I don’t impact people? If my time comes and I’ve lived the kind of life that doesn’t make them proud? What if I never get to live my road map, make someone happy? What if something happens and nobody has ever even loved me before and I’m just one of those people who leaves and is never mentioned again? The thought hurts. I’d never want my students to hear about me and think, “ugh, that teacher? She was mean. She never cared about me at all.”
I’ve always heard to live in the moment, to never take life for granted, to live each day to the fullest. To be honest it didn’t mean anything to me and those are just words. They don’t mean anything until it’s personal, until it’s right in front of your face because of some tragedy and you wish you could go back and follow the quotes you’ve seen plastered everywhere since infancy. I don’t want to climb mountains that are exceptionally high. I don’t want to eat weird foods in Japan, sleep with mountain lions, hitchhike across the country. I just want to live a life where I’m more happy than not, in a place I love, surrounded by people I love, doing what I love.
I guess I just want to be achieve some kind of greatness, even if it’s just to someone, or even myself. I want people to feel like I’ve made some kind of impact on their life, and I want them to know they had an impact on mine. I want to look at all the the things I want to do and make them happen because I don’t want anything to ever be too late.
I’ve grown up listening to my grandparents tell me stories of their childhood. About their best friends and their family, heartbreaking fires, The Great Depression, about college roommates, siblings, remarkable people they’ve met over the years. I don’t know, I guess I just keep thinking that I hope that someday, in hundreds of years someone sits down with their own grandparents and some of their stories are about me.