It was a perfect day. Bright prisms of dew glittered like diamonds in the grass, although I knew that, as the day went on, they would be vaporized by the sun.
Vaporized by the sun! Wasn’t that what the universe had in store for all of us? There would come a day when the sun exploded like a red balloon, and everyone on earth would be reduced in less than a camera flash to carbon. Didn’t Genesis say as much? For dust thou art, and into dust shalt thou return. This was far more than full old theology: It was a precise scientific observation! Carbon was the Great Leveler – the Grim Reaper.
Diamonds were nothing more than carbon, but carbon in a crystal lattice that made it the hardest known material in nature. That was the way we all were headed. I was sure of it. We were destined to be diamonds.
How exciting it was to think that, long after the world had ended, whatever was left of our bodies would be transformed into a dazzling blizzard of diamond dust, blowing out towards eternity in the red glow of the dying sun.
What do people mean by “the glory days?” I’d wager a guess they’re not referring to the days of no electricity and woollen underwear. More likely, they’re talking about paying 10 cents for a candy bar and when milk was delivered to your house in glass bottles. So no, I don’t remember those glory days, I wasn’t alive. I do, however, remember Nirvana.
How about the glory days of Primary school… Remember when you’d try to raise your hand higher than everyone else? Remember double-dutch at recess? Remember that time you got a pizza party because you and your friends were such great hall monitors?
When did it stop being cool to be a hall monitor? Maybe that’s when people stopped paying attention. People stopped moderating their self-pity and ignorance. We never stopped having ideas of what is right and wrong, great ideas of success and empowerment. But we stopped noticing our blessings. We stopped monitoring our choices and actions, and how they influence our surroundings. We stopped seeing the link between ourselves and our goals, our decisions and what we believe in.
I want to see every day as part of my glory days. I want to observe the beauty of life around me in its complexity, the complexity of its simplicity.
It wasn’t long ago that I thought I had myself all figured out. I knew I was a daughter, a sister, a dancer, a student, a friend, a girlfriend – and my roles told me what I wanted. Or rather, my society knew what it wanted me to want, which made it easy for me to fit where I was supposed to. I had clear, quantifiable parameters I knew I could satisfy.
The reality is much more intricate. Like all things worthwhile, it requires hardwork and bravery to discover what you want. You get everyone’s ideas, but in the absence of your own, you begin chasing things. You cannot learn until you actually experience what you want. Taking risks and challenging your beliefs hasten it. Denial, inaction, and avoiding failure stifle it.
I may not know exactly what I want, but I’m learning what I don’t want…
– I don’t want to read more than one book at a time.
– I don’t want to always have to earn things that I like.
– I don’t want to be thinking about other things when someone is speaking to me.
– I don’t want to eat the same things everyday.
– I don’t want to tolerate when someone has hurt me.
– I don’t want to downplay things that I’m excited about.
– I don’t want to be embarrassed when my attitudes differ from someone else’s.
– I don’t want to care about being overdressed.
– I don’t want to be afraid of things that are not a threat to me.
– I don’t want to have excuses for not doing my nails, not having a bubble-bath, or not eating breakfast.
– I don’t want to look down when I walk, or a few paces behind.
– I don’t want to have a small family, or a home without pets.
Of all the judgements we make, none are more important than those we make of ourselves. Our self-evaluations directly affect the way we act and react. They influence our values, our goals, and the way we meet the challenges we are confronted with.
Know your worth and accept nothing less.