By T.J. Chiang Jr.
I recently attended a spoken word event on campus that featured a poetry duo called “The Asia Project.” The poem called “Awakening,” which was written in memory of one of the poet’s sister – who had died unexpectedly – struck a chord with me.
One of the lines of ‘Awakening” went so: “Life is a coma we can still choose to wake up from.” Life indeed is a coma, but not the type of coma a person experiences at the hospital, rather it is the type of coma where one does not reflect on himself/herself.
Most of us take things for granted by going through mundane routines daily: sleeping, eating, working, and repeat. It is not until a catastrophic event happens, such as a personal loss, that we begin to reflect.
It is not until life literally smacks us in the face that we begin reflecting on how short life is, thinking about all the opportunities missed, and wishing we could have – no, should have – done things differently. We start wishing we could turn back time and make up for all the missed times.
The line in the poem reminded me of an event that happened over the summer: graduation. It was a time in which a friend had graduated from Drew. I had spent all my time with him for four consecutive semesters. This is the first semester that I am without him. Though he is still in New Jersey, it would be hard to see each other as we are both busy.
It was a tough loss and I wish that I could turn back time so I could spend more time with him. I regret not spending more time with a dear friend during the last month that he was at Drew. I had been busy finishing papers, studying for tests, and seeing professors that I spent no time with outside of class.
We used to do a radio show together at Drew, it was a ritual. During the last month I could not join him. I was going through life like a well oiled machine that I forgot to reflect on how short of a time was left before his graduation.
Looking back now, I very much regret not spending time with my friend who graduated. If I could do it all over again I’d spend more time with my graduated friend because I may or may not see him again.
I took a vow after attending this event. Firstly, I recognize that I need to reflect on how time goes by quickly and that I need to slow down to enjoy the moments while I still have them.
For example, spending time with loved ones and friends instead of spending too much time on studying. I am asking you, the reader, to do the same. Take it slow, enjoy the moments, spend time with friends and loved ones before it is too late.
T.J. is a senior Sociology major.