As you all know, I’ve recently been on a bit of a John Green kick. (See my previous post for more details.) So I’ve been watching all of these videos and reading all these quotes, pretty much putting my brain on a constant setting of “what does it all mean.” But this one quote I found from Green’s novel Paper Towns particularly stuck out and really had my brain churning during my insomnia-crazed nights.*
“I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.”
When I first found this quote, the only thing I could think about was how depressing that idea was. That everything we go through during our individual lives will eventually culminate into that one moment where, no matter what we do, we die. My reaction was to question the purpose of going through all of the pain and heartache and suffering when we all know that eventually, something will get the better of us. But then, as I tossed and turned in my bed, I realized that maybe that’s the whole point.
Just think about it. Think about every thing that has made you cry or scream or hurt in your life. And think about how in those moments there was a part of you that just wasn’t sure if you were going to survive that pressure because life just seemed like too much. But the beauty of it all is that you did survive. And without all of seemingly horrible stuff, you wouldn’t be the person you are today.
And what’s even more beautiful is that we still have so many more survivable moments before our final curtain call. We’ll still suffer through moments of saying goodbye to people we love. Of having dreams crushed and hearts broken and lives turned upside-down. And we’ll pass these experiences on to others, whether consciously or not, and they’ll have their own and eventually we’ll all realize a strength in our survival that we never knew existed within ourselves.
So in the end, we shouldn’t look back on everything as tragedies we suffered until our ultimate demise, but rather the beautiful moments that made our lives truly worth living.
*Keep in mind that I haven’t had a chance to read Paper Towns yet, but it’s at the top of my list as soon as this poor college student finds sufficient funds to purchase more books.