I'm trying my best to ignore all the deadlines and assignments that are about to start on Monday morning. Sunday is for relaxing. A well deserved break from a heck of a week.
As I sit at my desk staring out the window, I can't help but let my mind wander. To all the expectations, the challenges, the pressure to perform, grad school is no joke.
I'm trying to build a life, a career, a future. I'm trying to be somebody, mark my identity on this world. I have all these hopes and dreams and ambitions. Where am I going? How high can I fly? I want to be loved, respected, valued. Am I doing my best? Could I be doing better? Is my best good enough?
A thousand different thoughts in a tornado like flurry in my head as I put my feet up on the window sill and lean back. I rest my head on the back of my chair and stare out the window barely seeing the world outside. My world is in here. These four walls contain my classes, my friends, my family, my entertainment, my exercise, everything happens here. This 15x10 sq. feet of living room is my entire world.
I stare with unseeing eyes at the people scurrying about outside. All with their own little bubbles of worlds. Going to the grocer, arguing over a phone, rushing to get to a meeting on time. I don't care about them, my world is in here.
And as I stared outside, unseeing, the clear skies darkened. The bright blue of the sky turned a pallid gray. And the snow began to fall from the sky.
Silently, like little puffs of cotton it fell, landing on the dark pavement outside, coating the cars parked by the street, settling on the branches of the tree. Before long, the view from my window was transformed. A sea of white, all discernable features mellowed by the uniformity of the falling snow.
And as the world outside was transformed, I started to see it from outside my own head. I looked up at the dull gray nothingness that was the sky. I saw the flakes of snow descending like an army of white, determined to cover every inch of the world. It fell soft, yet determined. Gentle yet fast.
Suddenly I realized my world isn't in here. It's out there. With Seven. Billion. Other people. We're all living on this planet we call home. Yet we're all trapped in a bubble of our own making. Recent events have hardly helped that, and now more than ever, our world has shrunk smaller and smaller and smaller until what was once a home and a college and an office and a restaurant and other people has now become this little rectangular black thing we call a screen.
And on this screen is only the things we choose to put there. Things that are supposed to be important to us. Career. Ambition. Deadlines. Work. Movies. TV Shows. Friends.
Where is it all going? What is this thing we're all striving so hard to achieve without ever questioning it? Are we competing with each other to have the "best life"?
We plan, we prepare, we train and learn and grow. All for what?
What is the end goal?
I watched the snow for hours as it caked the entire city indiscriminately. Before long, all these things we've built that we as humans are so proud of: Cars, buildings, lights, roads, it was all gone. Nature had once again reclaimed it's territory. And we people sat at our little windows sheltered from the elements, watching with little control as it was taken away from us.
The end goal is not that job, that salary, that powerful position. It's not having n-number of friends or influencing x-people.
The end goal is to have lived a life that was appreciated. Not by others, but by you.
These little bubbles we put ourselves in is full of trivial things. Things that we collectively decided was important as a society.
But as the snow fell from the sky, I stopped. This wasn't my world. This was nature's. I am merely a visitor. A guest. And everything I am doing is important to me and only me.
I took a shaky breath and let go of the week I had, and the week I was about to. I let it all go and just watched. It didn't matter if I succeeded or failed. It didn't matter if I won or lost. All it mattered was that I could appreciate where I was.
And as I had this realization, a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I sat up straighter, a little smile bubbled up unbidden. I was free.
Yet the snow kept falling for it was not falling for me, or for the man across the street hurrying home huddled under his hood. It was just falling, and I was merely a bystander because this was it's world now.