Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 6: List

A couple of months ago, my best friend and I were in New York. It was a wonderful day, the kind of day you wish came along more often. We'd just visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then proceeded to have a delightful lunch at a cozy Italian restaurant hidden away in a corner of the kaleidoscope that is New York. We then made our way to Times Square to look at the lights.

And it started raining.

So there we were, escaping the rain by rushing to the Starbucks in what could possibly be the busiest place in the world. It was strangely calm, that moment. We were talking about our plans after New York for the coming year and we were just musing over how being a graduate student was a nice thing to be. We realized that graduate school was the perfect blend of responsibility and irresponsibility, a time where you know exactly what you're doing but keep questioning every step you take, a time where you're at that cusp of knowing everything and knowing nothing at all.

To commemorate this epiphany, we decided to make lists. One list of all the things which we wanted to own, everything that we wanted to buy using just our stipends in the upcoming year. The other list was of all the things we wanted to do, to experience, all our aspirations, our fears, where we wanted to travel and what we wanted to accomplish this year.

At the time, it proved to be very difficult to think of things. I had really thought our lists would have been longer. I think we were trying to be too realistic and quite analytical of what we wanted.

A month after that day, we met on the other side of the country, in sunny California. While looking across the bay at the Golden Gate Bridge, we were discussing our lists and we were amused to find that each of us was carrying our lists in our wallet and had crossed at least one item off. The satisfaction which came along with that realization felt great!

It's been another month since then and I'm proud that I've marked more things off. I don't think it is possible to mark all of them. In the past two months itself, I don't feel the need to buy some of the things which I wanted back then. However, I know that I'll be carrying that precious Starbucks tissue with me for at least a year, reminding me that I am getting there...

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