“You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech.”
Excerpt From: The Editors, WordPress.com. “365 Days of Writing Prompts.” iBooks.
The path of life is not linear. There are no checklists at each stage that we can simply tick off and then we’re done. Or things that are expected of us. Or even things that we expect for ourselves.
Some people would argue that they’ve always known what they wanted since childhood. They would say they’ve been working towards that end all their lives. These people are fortunate to have known what they wanted early on. But they are the exemption, not the rule.
The rest of us are simply… curious. Full of potential. Looking for opportunities. Discovering new ways to make everyday fun and momentous.
And that’s okay.
Because, as I’ve said, there really is no linear path we get to walk on to get to our happiest, most fulfilled selves. We need to be able to create our own paths. And by creating, we become more appreciative of the journey because then we are able to make something out of nothing.
In high school and in most of our academic days, we are taught so many things. We wonder sometimes if we could use all of this knowledge in real life situations. Surprise—we won’t!
But the memories of the people we’ve encountered during school. The teachers, the classmates, the staff. The activities that we shared together as an academic community. Those are the few things that really matter in life. Those connections deepen our own understanding of ourselves. Those people will help you realize so many things later on. They will be the comparison point of your life going onwards.
It’s not really what or how much you know. But who you know. Who you value. Who is important for you.
Other people do exist because we were not meant to be alone. You can learn by yourself. Raise yourself. Fend for yourself. Be the independent person that you are. But you need other people early on in your life. You can’t be independent as a newborn. At some point, we need others to survive. Once we can do things on our own, only then can we survive by ourselves.
And only then can we take care of the people who took care of us. Who made us feel that we matter. Who walked through with us on our paths even though ours didn’t seem as sunny as theirs.
To an extent, school matters but it is only just an institution that is run by people. It can be flawed and it can be helpful in its own ways.
The greatest lessons in school are not taught in the classroom. They are learned through each person you’ve come across and each individual who has helped you carve out, create, and mold new paths that will soon be the foundation of the adventure that is your life.
Also published on Medium.