[Originally sent out in the nesletter etc. Buy the print.]
I remember being a young, poor, and scared student, having a terrifying year living in London.
I remember one morning, being caught in some sort of crushing existential dread as I rode the Underground to school. Thinking how I would be crushed by the harsh environment around me.
Thinking about how my happy little undergraduate life was about to end and that I’d just end up a little stain on the urban tarmac.
I had nothing, really. No job to look forward to, no money of my own. In a town twice as expensive as New York.
I had never known the feeling of having “Nothing” before then. It was scary. REALLY scary.
Right when the existentialism was starting to crescendo as I stepped off the train, I suddenly snapped out of it.
I realized that right then and there, everything I needed I already had.
Between my ears. Inside my mind.
That’s where it was. That’s where the treasure was buried.
My mind was a free agent. It didn’t belong to anybody else..
As long as my mind remained free, then I would be free. All the external stuff was just temporary nonsense I’d soon get over.
I emerged back onto the street, back into the sunshine, a very happy young man; the happiest I had been in a while.
I love your story and I find myself in your story, since I really do feel fear when it comes to graduation and I have no idea where should I go since I having nothing. Thanks for sharing.
I’m not a young student but I am in a similar situation and often feel that fear of having NOTHING. So I love this post and image. I knew it before, but it helps to be reminded from time to time; it’s all about what’s in the mind. (“My mind was a free agent. It didn’t belong to anybody else” – from now on I’m going to remind myself of this when things get scary!)
i had not been on the blog in a while. your new updates are awesome. i am still enjoying the daily cartoon. i have been passing your “Ignore Everybody” book to a few of my students.
Liked your story and understand your sentiment. Every one passes through that stage of life and feel himself tucked as what to do next. it is journey into the self, along with preparation for what lies ahead.