Final Chapter: Getting of Wisdom

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Time’s passing, its constancy, is something I haven’t learned to reconcile.

After my last tutorial on Friday, I’ll be done with my first year of university. But, really, I swear, I still feel September’s sun on my bare shoulders.

Or the cold breeze whipping my face when I got off the plane at the Pearson airport in January two years ago. Or the oil in my greasy hair the day I said goodbye to my childhood friends in California three Decembers ago.

Or the feel of strangers’ bodies against mine the first time I plunged into a mosh pit in eighth grade. Or the green shirt I wore to school the first day of seventh grade. Or the coolness on the back of my neck when I cut off all my hair in sixth grade.

Memories have a polarity akin to water. They glide on the surface, tension preventing them from dripping away. When they slide close, they plop together, uniting. Memories start to flood, with a current that grows faster and fiercer with every moment you recall.

And, as this year comes to a close, a torrent floods my mind. I have made incredible friends, with whom I made incredible memories, memories that will keep me from thirst. So I’d like to thank those who have shaped this year into something eternally valuable to me: my new friends, mentors (You’re the best Laura!!), and study buddies.

And, of course, you, you tenacious reader who has somehow made it through to this paragraph, this sentence. Thank you for indulging me in my tendency to give unsolicited recommendations, reveal too much about myself, and get introspective.

While I am grateful for all the good things I am not likely to forget anytime soon, I can’t help but feel terrified of what is to come. Time unsettles me because of the constant unknowns. We rush forward without stopping for a breath above the current. It’s exhausting. What will the future hold? What are my priorities? Will I ever find a stable job, a cool downtown apartment, and a dog who loves me unconditionally????

But that’s par for course, isn’t it? Unknowns practically define the nature of life. But according to Albert Einstein, in a letter to the Queen of Belgium, he believes:

“There is, after all, something eternal that lies beyond the hand of fate and of all human delusions, and such eternals lie closer to an older person than to a younger one oscillating between fear and hope. For us, there remains the privilege of experiencing beauty and truth in their purest forms.”

It’s natural, in our youth, to fear and to hope. It’s the lack of worldly life experience. Experiencing “beauty and truth in their purest forms” only awaits us, so we must get out of bed every morning, surely. It’s a part of growing, as a person, and growing older, as a human being walking this earth for a finite time.

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I started off this school year, and this blog, with the idea of growing.

Growing up, growing more, growing better and kinder and smarter. I’d like to think I’ve done a fair bit of that this year.

[Photos from film Into the Wild]

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