To Grandma. I miss you every day.
You look up at the stars winking down at you from the sky and see them smirking back in silence at the tiny human speckles down below on the ground - speckles that are going about their daily lives, so immersed in the daily troubles that they cannot notice anyone but themselves. The stars look down from a distance that cannot even be grasped by your understanding. Your perception is that we are enclosed within this little box of a world, because we can't and don't want to understand our insignificance in the grand scheme of things that had happened and are yet to happen long after we are gone.
Yet there is a sense of comfort that can be found at gazing up at the stars in those late-night moments of loneliness. Knowing that there might be someone, somewhere on this tiny little planet looking at the very same star at the very same time creates an illusive but calming connection to another human being thousands of miles away. And at that moment, even though thousands of miles away might as well be light years of a distance, we can tell ourselves that we are somehow connected to each other and feel relevant and needed.
Dare I admit that in my moments of sappiness I, too, look up at the stars and become a hopeful, naive and wide-eyed sixteen year old, even just for a limited number of minutes? Because I do and because lately I've become more and more appreciative of my moments of innocence, which I crave and long for. That delectable feeling of opening your heart to the world, where you are not yet aware of all the hurt and pain and disappointment other people can inflict upon you if you are not too careful - those are the moments to live for. To never become too cynical or reluctant to experience and explore new things. To never settle for anything but the butterflies, as Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City would say.
Today was that day when I lived for the butterflies and I let my heart feel things, even where the sky was still much too bright for me to see the stars.
Today was the day that ended a chapter in my life with me successfully defending my Master's thesis for the very last time in front of an audience of 10 skeptical and very tired architectural critics.
Today was the day I had my heart broken by my career choice and the gloom of today's economy when I got rejected by a firm that I worked for three years ago, in the hey day of the architectural and construction boom. I have a 4.0 grade point average and I am unemployed. Let my brilliance sink in the ocean of unemployment, why don't you America.
Today was the day that I submitted my 170-page thesis document for the university's approval, but not before adding one more page - an acknowledgments blurb where I simply stated,
"To Grandma, I miss you every day."
- and surprising even myself by uncontrollably balling my eyes out as I struggled to type out the words.
Today was the day I looked up at the night sky from my balcony, soaking in the little triumphs and disappointments of the recent moments that are defining of my personal history but are, most likely, simple irrelevant inner struggles to anyone else but myself, and became grateful for all that I have, despite all that I don't have.
Grateful for being able to say that I have experienced the feeling of being in love and for being able to love unconditionally like a lusty seventeen-year-old at the age of twenty five, for being able to say that I've given my best to the profession that may never pay off for me, for being able to live and let go of the worries in my drunken moments. For being able to be myself.
At the end of the day... well, maybe not every day, but at least once in a while, I think we should all be able to be grateful to be in our own skin. Even when the grass seems a bit greener on the other side and the stars aren't shining down on us as brightly as they can be.