I’ve never known anyone who has died. My first, and only, real experience with death was when I went to my great grandmother’s funeral in the Philippines—more or less an odd experience for any 5 year old. I was still completely new to life and so far from the end of it all, but yet experiencing the slow understanding of the reality of death.
I often used to think about the end, not the end of my life per say, but the real end. I don’t really hold any sort of static religious belief (anymore), and it’s hard to say that I stick to any theory of population or Armageddon. Needless to say, I don’t hold myself against any subclub of creationism and evolution, nor associate.
I’m definitely not a realist, and I wouldn’t exactly associate myself as a idealist anymore; It’s the age, really—I’m 21, not 12. I unfortunately don’t play lucky charms and rainbows anymore. Like many of my peers I really have no excuse for staying angsty. When you’re 21, angst gets a little more embarrassing and more socially unacceptable. At this age, it’s kind of like a depression that we all seem to be going through; so we can just call it growing up.
Anyway, scaling back to my first funeral, I don’t really remember much of it. I just remember crying my eyes out over someone I had never met. It was an overwhelming feeling to be in a room with so many people that had loved her. I felt possessed by everyone else’s feelings. Tears elegantly fell from Mom’s eyes — I always thought she is a pretty crier. She was carrying me in her arms, but you could tell she forgot I was there, and she was holding me just because she was.
It’s bizarre seeing a parent really cry. As a child, you cry so many times — scraping your knee, being picked on at the playground. And although I was crying a lot too, I felt that she was the one in real pain. Mom really loved her grandmother like I really love Mom. I imitated a tactic she’d used on me many times. One of wiping her tears away, my little hands as if soft tissues on her cheeks, and telling her that everything was going to be okay. It was in that moment that I had experienced doubt for the first time; I didn’t know that everything was going to be okay. She never asked me why I was crying for someone I didn’t know. She understood I was having a moment. How big of a moment, was beyond her.
I’ve always been too sensitive to feeling. I thought it a super power of empathy, at which it wasn’t really super, but kind of overbearing. My best friend from back home had called to tell me that her and Landon had broken up. I started to cry, and my heart was broken.
Contemplating the end used to be the barrier between me and sleep—the source of my “insomnia”. Everyone has insomnia nowadays. When I was a junior, the future became the cause of restless sleep, the effect was hours and hours of Avatar: Last Airbender watching — my favorite show. I’ve been sleeping so much better and regularly for the past couple of months now. And I truly feel its because I’ve begun to figure things out via abrupt conclusion. And by figure things out, I mean I’ve accepted that I will be old someday — a simple conclusion, but a really effective realization. I’m not completely unmarked, this is a very true deduction, but is also kind of disturbing to me. All in all, I know that I can’t spend my time squabbling about what I’m going to do.
That always seems to be the tale old question for us young adults of “what are we going to do.” What are we going to do? As if some sort of doing is a large component of being. In many ways, yes doing is being, but a lot of feeling is being as well. In the main story of my life, I want people to know what I’ve been doing (and I hope to be doing some good), but I want my closest friends and lovers to understand what I was feeling when I was doing it. And I want to feel submerged.
The word of the week is: submerge.
I’m not quite sure what will happen at the end of my life, but I suppose you can say I’m still going. I’ll play this game of graduating, working, raising a family, traveling, and everything in between because I actually like it. I don’t look at the world as cynically as I’d like to, but I guess I’m glad I don’t. One thing that hasn’t changed is my ability to doubt. Once you doubt, it can’t be undone… or can it? But although I’m not an idealist or a realist or anything in between, I’m at least some subculture of happy. I plan on pressing some form of impact on the world, and more importantly in the scrapbook of my life. I want to be submerged in my life no matter how black it gets after the time my life is done. I just need to experience. My motto: It is the experiences in our lives that make us better forms of ourselves.
Can ya dig it? I sure do.
Jackie, over and out.