It’s All a Process

I think I hit my first wall this week, when I sat down to write my research proposal. As my boyfriend said, “It’s like telling someone they can go on vacation anywhere in the world but they can only pick one place.” I sat for three hours and felt that old frustration from undergrad. No, actually it was worse. In my early 20s, time wasn’t as valuable as it is now. You work on something, you nap, you play online, you watch a marathon of “Law & Order” and then you get back to work. Now it’s  you work for actual money, you hustle for additional ways to possibly make money, you keep up on the news, you keep up with your friends who are becoming increasingly distant due to marriage, kids and their own work, you try to sneak in some TV and then you work on extra stuff like grad school.

I’ve had some frustrations this week, and I’m not quite sure when they’ll be resolved. As I mentioned previously, some days just aren’t for it. We all have them. The other day, riding and listening to NPR (also known as mental down time), they reviewed a graduation speech that the recently deceased Steve Jobs gave back in 2005 at Stanford. In it, he says:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

I was moved, to tears. How beautiful to have a death sentence over your head, and to live with such grace. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my frustrations, but I know I have control of where I’m going. I will not let the “noise of others’ opinions,” which can often be quite loud and press in from all sides, be the story of my life right now. Chin high, shoulders back, carrying on.


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