"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted"
I recently just finished the book that follows up on the "last lecture" by fellow proud nerd, Randy Pausch, nearly a decade after his death (he passed in July 2008), and a decade to the day after the now famous lecture. I've been getting knee deep in death lately (which seems to be a trend, especially with some of my movie reviews). I've been watching The Leftovers, where coping with loss is a major theme. The Last Lecture is the dream scenario for many in that show, where someone knows the end is coming, and is more able to cope and prepare, and tell the people around him the impact they've had on him, as well as the future he hopes for.
The book expands on the speech, and reflects on it. I had always heard about this video, but never really delved into it. I sat down to watch it after I read the book and in preparation of this post. I'm glad I did. It's nice to look back long after he has passed to keep moving his message on. It's a simple, positive one that cuts through a lot of the cynicism and negativity around us. While I can certainly acknowledge his upbringing gave him a lot of benefits, simple advice sometimes helps to affirm what we all as humans should strive for.
I love the quote above, as it is something I'm currently grappling with and have had to come to terms with in the past. I look forward to the clarity of hindsight as I move forward (if only it was given to us in the moment).
As I said, I've been watching The Leftovers, which deals with loss, and I think we should all also be a lot more grateful for the time we have with those we care about, and we should tell them what they mean to us. I got married when it may have been sooner than some were expecting. But I was ready to marry my wife when I proposed, and I didn't want to wait any longer to be her husband.
I encourage you to give the video another viewing if you haven't seen it in a while. It's a simple, pure, and will help you to reflect on where you are, where you've been, and where you want to go. It will also help to honor a man who loved life, and lived it fully.