A Special Day in May
My Dear Friends!
I feel very grateful.
I have just experienced four seasons, each one of them with its own lesson, unique beauty and charm. It is crazy how the branches I passed everyday once had icicles on them, and today they are thick, leafy, green bushes. Nature tells a compelling story of life.
I came to graduate school with the hope of a better career. I am leaving with a bunch of great friends and wonderful experiences. Jury is still out on the career. I kid ( but hit me up if you know any companies that have optimization roles)
In the past, I determined how I felt about my life, or at least, my right to fully enjoy it, by the extent to which I thought things were going well with work or school. The idea of my satisfaction has generally been so tightly tied with my sense of achievement and material success.
The truth is, nothing has ever been good enough for me. Not because my life isn’t actually good, but because I was never intentional about being content with myself and grateful in every moment.
I noticed this because I thought about the fact that when I graduated from undergrad, I carried my “B-average” GPA like a burden. And even though a few companies might disagree, it is so irrelevant. So so irrelevant to who I am and the value I can provide any body or institution, but I held on to it as evidence that I made it, but not quite. Now that I have finished graduate school, my GPA is higher, more in the range that I would’ve liked my undergrad GPA to be, but I do not feel anything. Because there’s not that much to it. I mean, if I’m being honest, there’s a slight relief that I have this external marker to indicate my intellectual ability, but I know that it means and indicates very little. It is just a marker based on the somewhat superficial idea that my grade can tell you how great I am as an entire individual or indicate anything about the wonderful experiences I have had in my life.
Now I know that it can not. And more importantly, that the value of the past year of my life is in my experiences- the connections I made with my classmates, professors and my work. That is what makes me feel successful and truly grateful today. That I met wonderful people I can genuinely call my friends. That I took classes I thoroughly enjoyed and from which I benefitted. That I was able to experience the natural beauty that is Ithaca. That I laughed and (surprising for me) hardly cried. That I expect more out of life and feel deserving of it. That I am less anxious as a person and more loving of myself. That I am excited about, and not scared of the future, even though I have absolutely no idea what it holds.
And that’s fine, because it doesn’t matter what it holds. At least, not today.
I am grateful that I am better at appreciating my life and worse at worrying about things over which I have no control. It is a blessing to be able to see each moment and appreciate it for all that it truly is.
Tomorrow will be fine. Appreciating my life today is the real gem.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.