To my dear friend,
Maybe you never heard, since we weren't that great of friends back then, not until after graduation. Had we known each other better before you left for college, you'd know that almost every teacher, instructor, and friend, as well as nearly everyone I grew up with, up till and even through high school, has at one time or another told me that I was going to do great things. Friends, family, acquaintances, parent's coworkers. Now that I myself have gone off to university, I still hear it, from professors, graduates, even the folks I work with in the research lab. It's like a sempiternal memory.
For a long time I just thought everyone said that to one another.
"You are going to be a star."
"You'll change the world one day."
Senior year it was clear that wasn't the case, and it became lucid just how much belief so many had in me.
It was, and still is, one of the most genuinely sickening feelings I experience; like vertigo, it causes my stomach to flip and demands that I run. I know that sounds ungrateful. I love all the people who have such faith in me. Letting down so many people scares me to near death though. I never made the ivy league, I didn't graduate valedictorian, I gave up on the career I wanted as a child, I haven't received a single scholarship, despite my "over-qualifications," and I honestly no longer wish to be here at school.
When I look back on it all, all I see is a two decade long timeline in which I have yet to do something worthy of note; worthy of saying hey, that young man has left his mark. I never made the news, I didn't win a trophy for an athletic team or club. I can't play music and my youthful creativity has drained out of my mind.
I have done nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary in my life.
The only thing I can lay claim to in this life is being the kindest, most loving person I can be, working towards a greater capacity for compassion and understanding on the daily - and in this world, those things are hardly ever appreciated or recognized.
My point, and I promise there is one, is that it doesn't matter that anyone remembers me in history books, or that I have some theory or technology or technique named after me, or a monument or museum in my honor. Helping other people stick it out on this planet is the most valuable asset I can have. I don't say this because I see slivers of it in me - I don't, despite what so many might say. I say it because that's what makes someone different than every other person in this world who is focusing on the progress of themselves and those which they selectively choose to assist in moving forward.
And let me tell you - I have NEVER known of a more concentrated group of individuals who has these invaluable and critical characteristics. These qualities are what make us so great with one another. It is precisely why even though we feel lost more often than others we know, this core group of friends has become a family, loving and supporting one another, demanding that we stand and fight, shoulder to shoulder, so that we all might have a brighter tomorrow.
A last thought : that uncertainty? Not knowing what it is you want to do, where you want to be, how you can possibly get to your goals - it's always there, and there is a reason for that! It means you are thinking about things. It's terrifying and nerve racking, not knowing where you are headed, but its probably one of the best positions you can be in. I wouldn't trade it for picking and sticking with the wrong tracks of life. When the right choice presents itself, you might not be ready, but I guarantee you'll know its happening, you just need to observe, and when you recognize, you need action. You're a stargazer, and you see the important stuff you need to, when you need to.
With Love Eternal,
This started as a note for a friend, but grew afterwards into to a work of prose I wanted to share. While it lost some accuracy, it's still a strong piece I think. Let me know what you think or if you have any thoughts about these values!
As such, this poem is dedicated to the incredible people I have in my life. <3