The following are facts: The world will keep orbiting the sun. The moon will keep orbiting the Earth. Seconds will stay consistent. Days will pass with time. As long as our blood is being pumped by our hearts, we are alive.
The following is an idea: Being alive is not the same as living, in a purposeful sense of the word.
As many of us know, high school is not an easy time. The world as a whole doesn’t care so much about who we are or what we do. After getting kicked out of lunch tables and being made a joke of by fellow students, I felt lost; and yet, I still continued to live while time ticked and the world turned.
During this time of being passive aggressively bullied, I didn’t have any close friends; and, coming into my senior year of high school, I still don’t. Somewhere in the mix of finding an open classroom to eat my solitary lunch and avoiding peers, I questioned myself on what made my life worth living when school seemed so difficult socially.
For a long time, I found living fully defined as making a name for myself. If people knew me and admired me, I must be doing something right. Then I watched people with the same concept of living. They weren’t happy. They pained themselves keeping up with popularity. I thought maybe if I fought for something, I could live fully. I realized I couldn’t turn into a cause. For example, I could fight human trafficking in speech class, but it made no sense to make this the definition of myself.
One Sunday while on stage playing the violin in front of my small, one-hundred-people church, I looked out into the crowd at the faces of people who believed in something and who found their purpose in what they believed. I felt whole because I was experiencing something beyond myself. The concept of living fully while the rest of the world kept turning began to make sense to me, in my own definition of the word.
This is what I deciphered: Living fully is about taking in all the obstacles, all the pain, all the joy, and all the beauty of what is around us. Living fully is about not making ourselves numb to the world, but embracing all the ugly and all the vibrant. Living fully is about taking ourselves out of the equation in the moment to connect with others and the artistry of the earth.
I cannot make factual what I believe to be true to myself regarding living, and I don’t believe that anyone must agree with me. I wouldn’t want to do so. The beauty about living is what we all make of it and how we interpret the world with different eyes.
As school and the fall welcome us, I challenge all Germ readers to venture out into your own lives and to embrace every moment with open arms. High school will always be difficult for students, and there will always be challenges. Fortunately, our view of our short lives on the Earth will change our view of how we live. Find yourself and get lost in the process.