When I was attending college, an all women’s college mind you, I absolutely loved the world of academia. I loved the library, the books, the intellectual conversation. I was obsessed with knowledge and couldn’t imagine not pursuing a masters and then doctorate degree. Who wouldn’t want to belong to this wonderful culture of endless learning and knowledge?
As I walked across the stage in May, my family and friends all around me, reality hit and I needed a full time job. Luckily, I had been skipping some classes so I could go to interviews my senior year of college. And it paid off. I landed my first full time job and would start the Monday after I graduated. Suddenly, my world became full of faxes, case notes, memos and more. This dreamily world where there’s only learning and no “real world” to report to, was just that; a fantasy.
As I started wondering about how I was going to achieve this goal of becoming a full time professor, enriched in academia, I realized something. After three years of professional work, my goals and dreams had changed. Instead of achieving a higher education, not that it isn’t still a goal, other priorities flooded my mind. I thought about goals for my marriage, getting a home and starting a family. It became clear to me that there’s so many people who choose to put a career or academia goal first and put life goals on hold.
This became most clear to me when my grandmother died. It was May 2015. As I saw my husband and my male cousins lower her casket into the warm ground, the tears cascaded down my face. There was something so final about the moment. Though I do believe I will see her again, on the other side of heaven, I realized we have a finite amount of time here on this earth. That means that the time we use here, needs to be used intentionally and carefully. Now when I live my life, see my goals, it’s all through that lens. Live all moments to the fullest? No.
Live all moments on purpose because you can’t get them back.