This Now page was inspired by Derek Sivers and Anish Lakhwara. Find others right now.
It's absolutely crunch time. I'm finally less than two months away from graduating. Whatever I can fit from now and then: I know that's it. Many opportunities have been passing by and I have been reaching out to catch them while I still can. There won't be much time left for second chances. I want to look back and think: I'm so glad I went out of my way to do that strange thing just because. This is it sunshine: and do it well. I've been making a lot of precious memories with people new and old. This will be our last reckless youthful run and dance.
Or not, if I refuse to grow up. If I remember that at the end of the day, I'm still punk.
In the past few months, I've been stuck in crises and have had to make tough decisions. All of it a part of me figuring out something I've been mulling on since the school year started: Who am I when I'm no longer affiliated with my academic position? In what spaces can I fully be that person, or those persons (that all make up me at the end of the day)? I imagine what my days will be like after school. Who I may be around (or not) and planning for what the consequences of what living into myself might mean—if I'm able to take on such a task?
You see, I've spent a lot of my life preparing for the worst things to happen, often feeling like that was what was deserved for people like me. I underestimated how underprepared I'd be in the face of things I thought only happened to "everyday people". I struggled to find role models along the way and doubted that someone like me could do something like this and still be okay. This is where the "compassion" theme I've been working on for this year kicks in: to consider what it'd be like to care for myself like I could only dream of. To imagine that I can do that and serve my community.
As I spend more of my time alone where I once spent my time with at least a friend or two, or many on voice chats I no longer haunt, I'm more and more conscious of what I surround myself with, and the things I tell myself when no one is around. Into these year, I cleared space in my podcast queue to make more space for those by Black folx, Indigenous folx, and people of color. And where I can manage, I've picked up the same with reading, in reflection to the little reading I've done in the past years due to school, yet there being so many books I've wanted to read yet it seemed impossible to do so. I haven't found any podcasters from Myanmar that suit what I like to listen to. But there are authors and journalists that tear me into pieces over what is painful to face in places where histories have been hidden from me, yet I've somehow moved on—and for what reason?
Still, I'm left with less podcasts to constantly fill my audio space than before, which was sort of the plan. I sit at a rickety edge with my relationship with music, not entirely sure if it imbues me with what it once did, and whether it's because of something real, or because of the algorithms. I think music will always be a part of my life, but for now, I'll fall back onto what give me a sense of nostalgia. These sorts of things remind me of parts of how I look, talk, move, and lean are influenced by a particular time. Both a time that never really existed for me: that I thought would come for me but never did, and a time that existed but has since been moved away.
Whoever, I am, tomorrow, months from now, years from now: I hope you never forget you are loved, you are beautiful, and you deserve good things. Thanks for being here.