When I am faced adversity, I ask myself, “What am I here to do? What is the bottom line?” In the instance of graduate school, it’s difficult. Sometimes more difficult than it has to be. At times I become tethered to someone else’s deadline last-minute. Other times I have to deal with neurotic, anxiety-prone. and entitled individuals. But every time I get pulled into the never-ending abyss of stress, I remind myself of the bottom line. I can to graduate school to get a research credential, a Ph.D, and my objective is to get out as fast as I can. Does dwelling on my circumstances expedite my process? Does engaging in someone else’s stupidity do anything productive for me? In doing this, I drive home rather happy each night. No one’s holding a gun to my head and making me be where I am. This path is of my own choosing. There will be hard times and there will be easy times, but in the end my decision to go to graduate school serves a purpose. And in light of that, all the little petty things no longer have a place in my mind, body, or soul.
Of course, there was one fundamental aspect to my example of graduate school. It’s the idea of choice. What about matters in which you have no choice in being there? In life we’re born into circumstances where we have no control over where we start. It really is true that life is like a box of chocolates, because we never really know what we’re going to get. If that’s the case, then what’s the bottom line in life? What is the underlying point to focus on given that we’re all children adversity? It really depends what’s most important to you. For me, my bottom line is the inclusive well-being of those closest to me and in turn the successful nurturing and prorogation of my future legacy.. my family whom I have yet to meet. But I think the one thing in common for all of us is this. In life there will be challenges no matter which life you lead. From the affluent to the oppressed, from the most self-aware to the most ignorant, everyone is given a life with unique adversities no matter where you come from. In spite of that, how we choose to deal with our circumstances, how we stand tall in the face of our life-long adversities, that is the true test of one’s character. But then how is success measured on this scale, on one’s ability to withstand the challenges of life? Is it money? Success? How much one is loved? No, it’s much more simpler than that. Life goes from start to finish, never slowing down to match our pace. Some resolutions may even take a lifetime to fulfill. But what I believe to be most important is how content we are at each stage of our life toward the end. As bitter or sweet the end is, we only get one ending in life. However, what we live with, what we remember in the final moment of resolution is how we perceived this life we lived all this time. There will be moments of regret, but I intend on looking back on a life filled with integrity. That’s my bottom line.