One of my sister’s friends died by suicide two days ago.
And as I sit here complaining in frustration about the sleep deprivation that I am currently experiencing to make it through this week of finals, I am stopped. I am reminded of the fragility of life and the things that matter. I am especially reminded of the things that don’t matter. And most importantly, I am reminded of the way we fail to keep the two separated. We treat mundane, self-inflicted stressors as though they are all-consuming and of utmost importance. We allow the treasures of life to pass on, unnoticed and unappreciated. Let me tell you what I have on my mind.
Tests don’t matter. School doesn’t matter. A good job, money, or high status don’t matter. Appearances don’t matter. At the end of my life, these things will have meant nothing.
Love matters. Connection matters. Joy, bliss, and laughter matter. Intimacy matters. Authenticity matters. These are the things that we cannot continue to give up day after day after day.
So as I return to study, all I can say is that I wish it didn’t take a tragedy for us to be reminded of these things. But now that we’re here, just remember to love. Love so much and so deeply that you embarrass yourself. Give so much that it looks like you’re getting walked all over. Stop taking anything personally, ever. Connect with those who so desperately need it. Approach life with your arms and mind wide open to love, to connect, and to experience. I promise you won’t regret it. Because these are the things that matter.