Empty envelopes

I recently found these two pieces I wrote a couple of years ago. The first from when I discussed the news about failing my first macro economics preliminary exam with my academic advisor, the director of the graduate program at NCSU and a wonderful person. The second one is from when I got the letter with the results from retaking that disgraceful prelim exam. If I passed I could remain in the PhD program, if I didn’t I was out. Almost by randomness I passed and i got to stay to continue working my ass off supposedly fir a purpose I once thpught clearly existed.

I’ve never sustained so much stress over anything or for such a long period of time. And I have been in stressful situations. I find it precious and don’t want to forget the conclusions from that dark period of my life. Hence, I make them public.

Today, I tecovered my love for life snd my hope for the future. Moreover, EVERYDAY I choose see a very important and exiting purpose in EVERYTHING that I do. Maybe it’s a way of coping, maybe it’s made up. So what? I’m all for pragmatism when it comes to choosing an attitude towards life that feels less miserable and less toxic than cynism. Rational optimism actually invites in more of what is positive into my life and enhances whatever is already fulfilling in my personal story.

The first:

“It was something like: ‘Dont let the outcome dictate who you are. Its not a definition of yourself.’ I cant say with certainty what words she used. But whatever she said, it sounded a lot like compasion.

Suddenly, there was no anger just gratitude. She melted my shields and vanished my walls. I felt inlove for an instant. It was so… healing.

‘…now, are you ok?’ She continued.
I smiled outised. And cried. Really, really hard inside. My soul was naked. Did she see my pain thru my invisible tears? Did she hear my spirit shouting? Did she know I was finally, happily, letting myself die a little bit? Did she recognize a hint of me?

I cant say. She was calm and secure throughtout the entire exorcism. She had a sweet smile.
I really loved her then. Did she notice?

She took away my sorrow. Did she know?
I cant but love her. Does she know?
I cant answer that.
I just hope she knows I really meant it when I said: ‘thank you’ ”

The second:

“What if I just don’t open the envelope?

The gravity of the matter is that it seems as if the dismal institution governing us tricks us into caring about the content of empty envelopes because the institution itself is full of emptiness. Hence, we are consumed by unimportant and mostly imaginary social conventions.

I wonder if I can change the WORLD simply by not opening the empty envelope full of empty words of empty lies we tell ourselves about empty dreams of empty smiles.

It is all a pointless and grotesque spectacle of sadism. I refuse to accept emptiness as my law. Whatever the envelope holds, it is disconnected from real virtue. I thus label it irrelevant and misleading. A sorry example of yet another social institution we foolishly surrender our lives to.

There is no value to this hypocritical practice of sending empty envelopes to one another as if it masked the sad fact that we don’t care about each other’s well-being. It does not mean anything.

I know today that I dont want to ever aspire to a life full of empty envelopes. I want meaning: a meaningful life, not the empty words, the empty smiles or the numb hearts that come out of this factory of nothingness.

Until the envelope does not become the forgotten illusion it really is, i will not open it. I hate what it represents.

I will change my world by not opening the envelope. I will make every breath a statement of fullness.”

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