I have been reading this book my teacher gave me called Man's Search for Meaning, By Viktor Frankl. She gave it to me before I left for this road trip, I like to believe as a parting gift. I feel like I can’t continue my point of this story without mentioning how important of a role this teacher has been in my life. That I had her for the last 2 years of my high school English career. I say career because at times I felt like I had a job, quite an easy job honestly, it was to simply absorb myself in as many books possible.
Ever since 7th grade I would go back and forth with loving books and reading a book or two a week to not reading for months. Junior year my English teacher Mrs. Seltenreich created a challenge for us. We all got an index card that was posted to the wall andas we finished a book we would write the title on it. I filled up two, after a while I admit I stopped writing on the cards... Didn't want to show off ya know. Kidding, I wish I wrote down more of the books I have read over the years. At least just to keep track of them. I believe I read 26 books from the day she handed me the card (around January) to the end of the school year.
She gave me this motivation to read as much as possible. I mean she did say the person with the most books would “get a prize” at the end of the year. Which never happened, so Mrs. Seltenreich I’m looking for my prize. No I honestly think I will take all you have taught me about English and life in general, this book and the relationship we have over any prize. That I will take my relationship with all the teachers I got close with over anything. How could you not be motivated and inspired by all the people in the world that go to work everyday to better and educate the future. That everything they do is to help a child. I can never look past that, teachers go out of their way constantly to help a child grow, to be their own person, to create their own path.
I could go on a rant about the teachers I have met over the years but I will cut myself short here.
I wanted to talk to you about this book I am reading, how powerful it has been. There is this quote on page 77 of the book; I believe I will never forget the page number or the words written on it for the rest of my life.
“That it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”
These words stuck with me and continue to make me think, what this world expects from me. Who my life wants me to be, as if it is a puzzle or a maze. Not that you have to only pick the correct doors, that you aren’t allowed to make mistakes. I don’t believe that’s the point of the quote. That everything you are doing right now or that you will do in the future, it is getting you to the end person you will be. Each day and each step you take is getting you to be the person you are. I have said this before that the only thing that matters is: who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow. Those are words I continue to think about and live by, I am not sure when they popped into my head but I’m glad they did.
This book continues to question my thoughts, to challenge me. I have always been one to accept a challenge and see it through to the end. I have yet to finish this book and I have never been one to take my time with books, although this one is different. I mean the title says it all, a search for meaning. This is something I have tried so hard to find in my life. To find what I am passionate about, what and who brings meaning to my life. This book is about a man's challenges and struggles throughout his World War II concentration camp experiences. It is a book that is full of pain yet all throughout it talks about accepting one's fate. It is a tough one to explain, I tired to explain this quote to my sister but I failed to find the correct words of how I felt, that is the case now as well. That these authors words will affect everyone differently, but with each page I turn I feel I see a new light, a new perspective on all around me.
That millions of people have or have had it worse, that some problems are not as big as they seem. I need to slow down and take it one step at a time. To live in the moment, to accept what is ahead of me, not turn my back and avoid confrontation. Face everything, to stop expecting something from life, that in reality it is life that is expecting something from me.
So what is life expecting from me? I am not sure yet, I am okay with that unknown for right now. That it may never be an a question I could fully answer, just something I could work towards each and everyday. Maybe these words I wrote or the quote by Frankl, will make you think about your own life for a moment in time. So I ask: What is life expecting from you?
Greta Ann Vanderblue.