Maria - Chapter Eight: A Master's in Life

I was listening to Ratatouille Main Theme while writing these thoughts. Maybe you would like to do the same while reading them.

May came, and brought with it the spring, the sun, longer days and an old friend that I had forgotten how to welcome in my life for a while: exams. And even if during May I complained a lot about studying, about not finding a place to sit at the library or about lack of free time, it was again a tough period that came in my life to teach me something. I have to admit that I complained a lot. However today, I would like to forget a bit about the obvious bad things that every exam period brings and try to find with you the nice and useful things that every hard period in someone’s life may hide.

So, imagine that you have exams in one month. Three of them, in three of the most difficult modules of the program. Imagine that you also have a dissertation to do, right after the end of the exams and that you haven’t done anything so far for it. So, it’s pretty obvious that the month that is coming will not bring anything else in your life other than long days in the library. Imagine now that this month slowly passes and we are at the end of its second week, which means that you have already experienced fifteen endless days almost living on the fifth floor of the library. It sounds really hard. And then the month ends, and the days are now thirty, and the next month comes, and the exams start. And you take the first exam and then the second and then the third. It is hard, I know. But, the interesting thing is that this tough period, can make you understand the things that are beautiful in life. Too philosophical, isn’t it?

Usually, when your life is normal, it is difficult to imagine how will it be if you suddenly lose all the things that you normally do every day. But sometimes, a stressful and hard period like the final exams of an MSc program comes in your life to steal your everyday routine and remind you which of all these things that you unconsciously do every day really matter.

If you expect from me to tell you the things that I discovered this May that matter the most in my life, I won’t do it, because I believe that every person is different and as a result the things that matter the most change depending on each one’s heart. I won’t tell you that for example for me finally, going out with my friends or spend a cosy afternoon while reading a book at home matters the most, because as I said every person is different and people become happy with different things, with things that maybe I cannot even imagine. The thing is and also the reason for which I share with you these thoughts is that, every hard period, not only an exam period but every hard period in someone’s life, comes finally in order to remind us the important things that we have and we cannot appreciate if we don’t lose them. So, what I am trying to say is that now, just take a minute, close your eyes and imagine what would happen and especially how would you feel if all the things that you consider now as granted, suddenly were gone. I don’t know, your free time, your happiness, your friends, your parents, your money, even things that cannot disappear because of an exam period like health or peace. I know, it might not make any sense but please take a minute and do it. And now, open your eyes, and remember again that everything is fine, you do not have exams, you are not in the hospital or you are not at the war and you have the things that you love next to you. And if you don’t, at least you know which are they and that you can try harder in order to get them.

So, this exam period came in my life to teach me the idea of gratitude. And made me from now on to say a silent thank you before going to bed, for all the things that I have in my life and are still here for me. I also feel lucky that I just needed a silly exam period to become more consciously grateful for the things that I already have and I didn’t need to go to the hospital or to the war to understand it. It was a nice opportunity for me that made me a little wiser. So, you don’t need to go to the war to admit that you really like the girl that studies next to you every day at the library. Just take a minute and imagine how would it be if one day she didn’t appear. So, the next time that you’ll see her, just ask her to go for a walk with you at Holyrood Park. The exam period will finish soon and maybe you actually won’t see her again!

PS. Thank you for being here every month and read my thoughts. I don’t take it for granted.

Holyrood Park
Holyrood Park