This Is Water

Yesterday, Kaitlin posted a video I’ve seen floating around called This is Water. It brings to life an excerpt from an address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College by David Foster Wallace.

It is great.

I think part of the reason it moved me so much is that it deals with something that I’ve been mulling over a lot lately.

Routine. Monotony. Frustration.

These are words that didn’t even cross my mind when I was graduating from school. I thought, “Once I’m out of school. That’s when I’ll be living life.” That’s when it starts, right? That’s certainly what we are told. We are given a script for our lives up until graduation. We don’t really have to choose to do anything. We do what we are told. Go to school. Get good grades. Graduate from college. Get a good job.

Then what?

Is that it?

No one told me that being a grown up with a job can be monotonous at times. No one told me that routines can be maddening and frustrating. No one told me that after being out of school for six months I’d be asking, “Is this it? What’s next?”

Life is tough. Life doesn’t start happening just because I walked across a stage in a funny hat and got handed an almost meaningless piece of paper. Yes, life is hard. But only I can choose what to make of my life. I choose how to deal with the monotony. I choose how to deal with the routine. I choose how to be more than my selfish, daily, frustration.

When you’re watching a movie, do you care about the protagonist if they are indecisive, inconsiderate, or passive? No. You care about the heros. The characters that choose boldly, that act courageously and compassionately, no matter what their story throws at them.

I choose to be the hero of my story.

Do you?

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