Human Life

What is the quality of human life? How do you define a life?

This week I have seen or heard about several people in their early twenties leaving this world and it really made think. At 22, I don’t think of tomorrow as anything but a guarantee and another opportunity to build my legacy. However, from talking to my friends and looking on Facebook, I can clearly see that’s not true. If I died tonight, would I be happy with where my life is? For the most part, absolutely; however, that’s not everything.

At work, I look at a lot of human life initiatives every day. I remain objective for my job, but in my head, I find myself all over the place depending on the presentation of the issue. In the same hour I can look at something and say “wow that’s a great thing to do for people” and “the problem with the world is that there’s too many people.” At the end of the day, every person has somebody who loves them. Hopefully, every person has a more people that love them than they can count, and vice versa. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, nobody should be taken from this world because the amount of suffering that comes from one person leaving this life is far more than the resources saved.

The thing is, we have to move on. If we don’t move on it completely consumes us. That’s how I feel every single day. I don’t know what has me stuck, but seeing all of this pain and suffering around me I feel ridiculous for being caught up on something I can’t even identify. I feel silly for waking up with tears running down my face multiple times a night almost every night. I get text messages and calls from my friends in need of support of all kinds and I have no problem offering it. However, none of that changes how much I dread going to bed at night because I know I’m not going to sleep well and I know I still won’t know why. I also know there’s nothing anybody can do to help me. Finally, I know I am not alone.

I hate bringing it up every day because I hate thinking about it, and I know it is just as annoying for my friends to hear about it as it is for me to try to deal with it. It also has to be really difficult to not be able to do anything about it; nobody likes to feel helpless. So this is the point when I pause to ask myself, how do I measure my life? Do I measure my life by the positive thoughts I have about loving others? Do I measure my life by the somewhat sleepless nights and feelings I can’t explain? Do I measure my life by the work I do during the week? I don’t know. I don’t think that’s something that’s up to me to answer right now.

I do know I have more time right now. I am sitting here writing this which means I have more time. I have time to touch the world but I can’t do that until I take time to look at the world and take in its beauty. I mean this in every sense; the people that populate the world from all walks of life, the green grass and plants in full bloom, the animals, etc. If I can’t be patient and take time to appreciate the things that are guaranteed right now, I will never truly, fully, appreciate my life and the lives of others that I have the potential to touch. Saying goodbye isn’t easy, it’s even harder when you never had the opportunity to say goodbye. And right now, I am saying hello.


Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

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