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This post stems loosely from conversations I’ve had with my students as the supposed ‘end of the world’ approaches. We discussed, briefly, the importance of taking moments to reflect on our lives regardless of whether an end is near, and asking ourselves if we’re happy with the way we’re living our days. 

If the world were to end tomorrow, I hope I’d be prepared.

With gratitude within my heart for all that I have known:

The people. The people who loved me and the ones I loved back. The people who tested my loyalty or temperament. The people who broke me badly enough that it allowed me to view my mere survival as strength for future endeavors. The people who awoke sympathy in my heart. The people who inspired me and intimidated me into working harder. The people who defined my morals. The people who challenged my morals. The people who taught me and the people I taught. The people who prove some semblance of good in humanity.

The comfort. The fulfillment of my most basic needs that frees me to nourish my human ones.

The experiences. New places, new people, new nostalgia. New opportunities for struggle and growth and connection. Best of all, the childish sense of awe that consumes me in such moments.

The freedom. To be myself, by myself, for myself.

The faith. The faith I sometimes question, often neglect yet always accept. The faith in the unwavering and comforting presence of this faith despite my neglect. The faith that sparks guilt and reflection, frustration and peace.

The knowledge. That I am a flawed perfectionist. That we are all in this together. That there is something bigger. That I tried to change, sometimes succeeding and sometimes starting endlessly over. That I was consciously kind, and consciously berating myself when I wasn’t. That I survived and that sometimes, that is enough.