Monday, May 24, 2010

And After Tonight

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.


JessRaquel said...

I'm sorry to hear about the unemployment. Believe me, I soooo feel you on that one. The economy sucks ass. I'm glad you haven't lost faith in humanity yet ;p

Hope you have a better day and I'm sure your grandmother is very proud of you. You seem like a really intelligent and nice person.

Raisa said...

i agree... you are such an intelligent person that I'm sure you will find your way... As for the firm who rejected you, they'll regret it when you design one of the most important buildings of the century, and I'll say, I knew her back when she used to be a blogger!

Matty said...

Congratulations on your thesis defense, and best of luck finding employment. As a pianist who just finished his MMus with a perfect GPA, but doesn't have any career prospects in the field, I feel your pain. Rather than offering some clich├ęd sentiment about things working out that I myself can't quite buy, I'll instead just say "thanks" for your elegant writing - it's a pleasure reading your blog. Your words bring some beauty into this world, and that's worth a lot.

Best of luck!

Penny Lane said...

Congrats on the thesis!! That's a major accomplishment! Take a moment to enjoy that and know that your grandma really is looking down on you. You are not alone, and you will find your way...and a job. You wrote a fucking thesis - you can do anything! I believe that.

I know what you mean about missing someone every day. I miss my grandfather all the time. We had a big family fight at Christmas, and my mom said it wouldn't have happened if he were there, or if it had, he would fix it, he would know the right thing to do. Knowing things like that, going through hard times without someone we love and wandering how they'd comfort us, I don't know if it ever goes away. We will always need them and always miss them. And in some ways, that's a good thing because we keep them close to our heart.

Laundramatic said...

JessRaquel - thanks for the kind words!

Raisa - sometimes I dream about making it big and having all the places that rejected me look at their unfortunate decision with regret.

Matty - a comment like this inspires me to write and write for years to come

Penny Lane - Totally agree, missing people we genuinely loved and still love is good for our hearts

philosothink said...

I love this post! I regret to hear your job difficulties, but you've cleared one of life's biggest hurdles already, you're realizing the Big Picture.

:) and grats on the Thesis!