Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Temporary things

I was born into a family and a society that believes in forever. The concept of eternal families is not a beautiful childhood fantasy like Santa Claus, nor is it something my parents made up to smooth the hurt of untimely deaths. Forever is a real, albeit incomprehensible, thing.

I've really latched on to this idea that the things I love can last forever. I've valued things based primarily on their potential for everlastingness. I've always tried to keep temporary things in the Not Crucial pile as I've sorted through the people and experiences of my life.

But the thing is, most things in life are temporary. Even really good things. My high school choir experience--temporary. Awesome jobs and bosses--temporary. Friends--temporary. Despite my practicality, I've valued these things as much as the everlasting things. But then those things end, and I'm devastated. I feel cheated that I can't keep something that meant so much to me and that I invested so much in. I start to question why so many things are stamped with to-be-determined expiration date.

After some reflection, this is the answer I've come up with: the value of an experience isn't determined by how long you can hold onto it, but by how it changes you. If nothing ever ended, multiple worlds of new people and opportunities would be closed off. It's okay--and necessary--to acknowledge that something has changed you for the better, and then move on.

You're not left with nothing when you lose something you treasure; you still have the memories and the new self you've become through the experience. In this way, temporary things can become permanent because they contribute to the person you will be for the rest of eternity.

No comments:

Post a Comment