“Take any emotion – love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience the fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.'”
– Spoken by Morrie Schwartz, taken from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
After leaving University and having a month of much needed rest, I decided (or so my bank account did) that I needed to begin earning an income once again – especially with Christmas right around the corner.
I’m now employed at a temporary ice rink of which I work the bar, reception and marshall the ice.
Whilst handing out skates to customers, my colleague called over an older man. He was interested in the book that the older man was holding as he believed it was one he’d read.
It wasn’t the same one but was in fact a book about ecology. This gentleman then went on to tell me how he’s writing a book himself. I asked what about, and he replied that it’s about the relationship between children and nature. He mentioned that he had previously studied a PhD on the relationship between adults and nature. He believes that our connection with nature is vital, and we need to revert back to our childlike selves to rekindle this special bond with nature itself. It is something we lose as we grow due to being dismissed and ‘told off’ as children for expressing these behaviours.
I found this man very inspiring (of which my colleagues found very strange, I could tell from their facial expressions). Not only was this because he’s indulging himself into something quite exquisite, and attaining one of my ultimate goals of writing his own book, but because of something very relevant in my life right now.
He only recently attained his PhD after wanting to study it since the 1970s. I asked if he wished he’d done it earlier, but he answered no. He was very glad that he had waited. He continued to explain that the reason behind why it was better that he’d completed it as an older man, was because he didn’t feel the pressure that consumes young adults. There was no rush, he could truly apprecite his studies for all that they were.
This man was living proof that there’s no age limit or time scale to achieve your goals. I could tell that there was a fire inside of him being fueled by his passion – more passion than I’ve ever seen anyone else hold.