“Remembering that I am going to die is the best way for me to avoid the trap of thinking I have something to lose”. — Steve Jobs
Get busy living, or get busy dying. — Andy Dufresne The Shawshank Redemption
Many colleges and graduate schools had their graduations this weekend. As a result, many graduation speeches were heard. Other blogs commented on great graduation speeches. One that was mentioned over and over again was Steve Jobs’s speech at Stanford University.
When I was a teenager, I was quite a morose kid. I guess you could call me an EMO child– reading Sylvia Plath, thinking about teenage alienation and cliques and the cruelty that goes with it. I went to college and eventually out grew it but it did leave me with a tendency to be drawn to the darker things in life.
Later when I became an investigator, I was exposed to the bad things in life with crime, drugs, desperate poverty shaping a person’s decisions. I learned very quickly that there is no guarantee that when you walk out of the house in the morning that you will walk back in the house later that evening.
As a result, I try to make each day count. It is the explanation for many of my actions. It is what lead me to DC. I always wanted to live in a big city. It makes me grateful to be here in Arkansas spending time with my parents and grandparents because they are old and someday much sooner than I want to consider, they will be gone. I have this tension between myself wanting to do big things like travel to great places and stay here to be with my family. It is also part of my discontent with where I am now. I don’t feel like I am making a difference. I don’t feel that I am experiencing any great new experiences. I feel left out of the small town scene (also known as the “good old boy network”) and that life just might be too short to make it worth my while to try to break it down or change it.
It’s also why I keep a big bold “bucket list” with things I want to experience. I’ve always been a reach for the stars type of person. I have found that even if you don’t achieve the stars– well the moon is pretty cool.