Some objects I love are the photos I have of my childhood dog Patrick. Whenever I see these photos, I smile, because he was smiling. He, overall, led a good life. Although at times there are melancholy feelings as I review these photos, thinking about shouldas-wouldas-and-couldas, if I look at them earnestly, those potentially lukewarm feelings are replaced more with warm sensations. He was so happy. I love objects like those that inspire positive feelings.
Anxiety is a useful tool, except when it overwhelms us. If there’s anything I’ve gained through these months of headaches I experienced, and am nearly three weeks away from having last experienced severely, it’s learning to overcome life’s minor anxieties. When you’re sick daily, you stop deeply caring about whether someone’s delicate opinion of how you look or feel matters. Anxiety, in this way, is a useful metric for general information but shouldn’t overwhelm you.
If we play the shoulda-woulda-coulda game, what factors – if changed – shoulda changed, which woulda made things better, which coulda prevented me from landing in the emergency department with a bill for $726.41? I know one guilty party: my insurance company dragged their feet in finding me the help I needed. I went through their web system so I could save the documentation. I was out of options. Desperate. Alone. I tripped on the American Healthcare System.
The best gift you can give to yourself is self-trust. Knowing that regardless of how any event turned out, if you trust that you did your best and tried with as much effort as you could muster, then the consequences are trivialities. Take all those negative feelings you have about wishing you could have changed past events and trust that you can act with positive intentions in behaviors that will improve your mind and body.
You can become a professional in any field… if you put in the work. There’s nothing glamorous here: you must develop the mental fortitude, discipline, necessary character traits, and endure through hardships to become qualified. Through college, you should be able to better yourself enough to get ‘the job’ on your own. No freebies! In “The Story,” John [left] and Trishna [right] have career aspirations. The “College Arc” explores their paths of developing career/life disciplines.
Spoilers?: Minor (studying character/life development)
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Life’s about change. We forget our sleeping dreams to pursue the dreams we can live. Change is hard. We don’t want to say goodbye to friends or tear down our good work. It’d be painful before to take down elaborate sets, now it’s not callousness, it’s looking forward to better setups. We’ll make new friends and can rekindle old, so while we can’t return to right now, we can steer change toward building better moments!
There’s a poignant moment in a video about Smiley, an aging golden retriever, where after telling the audience about how he’s growing older, Smiley’s owner asks her son if the dog will live forever, and he naively responds yes. Digitally, perhaps. Smiley in some large way reminds me of my childhood dog Patrick, quickly becoming the accidental mascot of this section, and though this was something I learned long after he’d passed, Patrick taught me the value of morality.