Finishing strong is something that has been echoing around in my ears the last few weeks. Though it may not seem like it, finishing well is not reliant on a strong work ethic or a fistful of assignments at the close of the semester that will keep you busy and engaged. Finishing out the fraying, unraveling end of the last semester of all the semesters, alone, is cause for laughing in the face of someone that shallowly tells you “Finish strong.”
When my laptop’s screen dropped from white to complete black, as I was putting the finishing edits on a paper I had started early, my thought process kicked in like a lacrosse ball into an eroding rope net: My life is over, I am going to die.
I got real lucky with how easy Apple customer service was to navigate – but in the end, there was no cure, and in order to wake my computer up from the sleep that had arbitrarily taken its consciousness, I had to allow the computer-savvy people to wipe the hard drive – meaning all my photos, files, essays, ideas, downloads – they are now lost in the void of a $1,000 machine that decided to drop out of the sky of life and die suddenly.
Despite how despairing that sounds, it illuminated much about the reality of life. This reality has made me feel like my friends think I’m crazy for reflecting on it. It has made me churn out the connotations and deepest recesses of the word morbid. And this is what I have come to: Despite the fact that 4 years of work and brain function and thoughts are gone, life still works the same way. If I had actually died last week, wouldn’t the result still be the same? All that data would have been made obsolete anyways.
The point is, this ought not to depress. I am not sad – at least currently – about the way life and death works. I have been forced to think about death in depth in the past, and I have found some peace with it. Death really is a part of life, and it happens every day. Death can come slowly in a friendship; I have experienced this. Death can come like clockwork to a rosebush in October; I have experienced this. Death can come to the best machinery humanity has made thus far; I have experienced this…recently. Death does come; I have yet experience this, but I have also had it come alongside me, coldly bumping elbows with me.
I keep telling Carrie this: We are going to graduate in two and a half weeks. We are going to get our degrees. We are going to achieve what we set out to four years ago. Those simple facts are enough to finish strong.