As I received news of my grandpa’s bout of cancer, memories we’ve shared together overwhelmed my mind and flushed in a wave of positivity. Despite this wave, my outlook on the situation is grim. I’m absolutely torn up inside; my mind races from one drastic thought to the next. Ignorantly, I never thought I would have to think of a life after my grandparents, and now I’m faced with that exact situation. It’s merely a matter of time before he kicks the can. I wrote about my optimism for him surviving in my last article, “Why I Love the World,” but the results of his latest tests have pounded my optimism into oblivion.
Ironically enough, during the process of writing this, my other grandfather received a similar diagnosis. His lymph node cancer had returned after being exiled only a year ago.
I lost my job about a month ago now, for essentially no reason. Myself, as well as all part time Lodgekeepers at Bent Arrow, were terminated for reasons that are still unclear to myself and my former colleagues. Around the same time, my car was on the fritz and I ended up dropping ~$1300 to ensure that my vehicle would make it through the winter. I’ve never had a large focus on obtaining wealth or fortune, but like Kanye says, “Having money’s not everything, not having it is.” This holds true as I feel the strain on my bank account and on my mind wondering how I’m going to sustain myself through the final two weeks of my practicum.
This morning, my car was broken into. My window smashed out, and they stole all of my hockey gear. At this point if feels almost comical the amount of negativity bestowed upon me. This equipment had sentimental value which stung the most.
After having the most incredible summer, it seems like I came to a crash landing when I went back to school. It’s dawned on me for a while, but now the thought actually has come to fruition: everything is temporary. Literally.
I mean, the earth itself is temporary. Within our own lifespan everything around us will only be here for so long. People, relationships, and materials are all temporary. I’d be intrigued to find someone who knew even one person from the first day of their life to the last. I’d be even more astonished for someone to provide evidence of a material good they’ve possessed for the entirety of their life; and surely enough even if these things do survive it’s only a matter of time before they too see their expiry date.
The old Kayle would have given himself every excuse in the book to give up, but life is way too incredible and way too much of a blessing to ever have that thought enter my mind again, even despite my current circumstances. Even despite it only being temporary anyways.
I think that fact that we are so incredibly insignificant in this universe is exactly what makes our lives so significant! I haven’t a clue if we have a higher purpose nor if we have a higher power. I do however, know that our universe is so incredibly vast that our imaginations can’t even fathom its size. I know that our planet wouldn’t even qualify as a spec on a map of the universe, heck I don’t even think our solar system would!
At the end of the day, humanity only matters to itself. I put my faith in my fellow humans; I put faith in myself to do great things and help change this world for the better. I want to ensure the proceeding generations have an even better opportunity to live this one life we’re enabled to live. You’re probably wondering why I would dedicate my life to something like that given my strangely structured views of humanity, but it’s what I love doing. I love helping and serving people, I want to have as widespread a positive impact as I possibly can. I’ve got big dreams; I have one life. If I don’t pursue my passions and dreams, what’s the point of being here?
Playing it safe would assume that I have something waiting for me after death, but I personally just don’t find that to be a plausible case (no disrespect to those who do). I know that the clock on my life is ticking, and right now there is no way to remedy that.
Why do we need a divine purpose? Can’t we just be a series of biochemical reactions who bare the capacity to allow themselves to enjoy their lives? After all, we’re the ones who assigned such profound significance to life. This isn’t to say death and loss won’t affect me or tear me down emotionally, but I think having these profound reflections is going to allow me to carry forward despite the fury of terrible circumstances coming my way.
So to recap: our lives are temporary, and we are incredibly insignificant. Sounds rather depressing, doesn’t it? Here’s the beauty of it, it doesn’t have to be. My life is temporary and so are my grandpas’. I’m happy they were able to live rich, full lives, and hopefully there is more in store for them. This was a reminder to me to really appreciate the relationships I have while I have them.
Humanity as a whole is relatively insignificant; but your life is incredibly significant to you and those around you. Make the most of the time you’ve got. You’ve got nothing to lose, and if you do, it’s all only temporary.