One of our first days of my Branding of Me class, my professor talked about remembering to live life. Getting caught up in the day-to-day meant we didn’t truly think about what mattered to us. I found this so vague. How am I supposed to know what matters to me? I value my friends, my family, my education; but this didn’t necessarily feel unique. Anyone would have the same answer.
To go deeper into our values and beliefs, we did a stream of consciousness writing. I’d heard of it before but had never done one. Stream of consciousness is when you just write. Given a topic, write everything that comes to your mind without worrying about thematic flow, sentence structure or grammar. The topic we were given was “What would do you if you only had one month left to live?”
Everyone’s responses left me in tears. We get caught up in our differences. We live in a society designed to make us compete. But at the end of the day, we all crave love and acceptance and joy. My classmate’s stories were an embodiment of that. I don’t have everyone else’s essays, but without further ado, here’s what I wrote! (completely unedited so please be kind, I suck at typing fast so the spelling errors are everywhere)
Travel the world. If I had one month to live I would take a one-way ticket to Europe or Africa. Go see the animals, the architecture. I want to go scuba-diving, see what the ocean has to offer. I want to go sky0diving, see the world from up there. I want to feel alive, before I die. I want to go home to India, see my grandparents, let them know how much their stories have impacted me, how much I appreciate all their sacrifice. I would love to see my best friends from my childhood, one last time, have a sleepover where we create dumb vines, talk about boys, revel in the nostalgia from when everything was simpler. I want to take my parents and sister on this adventure. If this is the last time they get to see me, I’d rather it be a happy memory than a sad one. I’d like to go out unexpectedly, I don’t want to spend my last days in a hospital room. I absolutely hate hospitals, I have no good memories from them. Maybe sky-diving? A sky divingaccident would be an interesting way to go. No matter how I die, Before I go I want to make sure that all the people in my life esp my sister, knows how much they mean to me and how I hope they work toward their dreams and don’t let failure bring them down. I was raised on Peanuts comics and one that has stuck with me is What do you want to be when you grpw up? And Linus answers “I want to be outrageously happy.” That’s what I hpe to feel every moment of my last month on Earth. I don’t particularly believe in heaven (or hell) but I’m very curious to see how my loved ones’ lives turn out, so maybe I’ll do a little haunting after that. I love the gossip and drama when it has nothing to do with me.
I’ve decided to do a stream of consciousness writing like this one at least once a year. It’ll help me see how my priorities have changed and make sure I’m still working toward what I want and not what I think I want. This class has taught me a lot, but I think the most impactful one is this; think about what’s really important to you and make sure you strive to achieve it.