Honestly, I just want to be remembered. That’s all.
I have this fear that someday no one would even remember me. As if my existence would be a dust-encrusted furniture elbowed out of the attic that is every one’s memories. But if ever a handful, or even at least one, would remember me, let it be for being able to look at anxiety’s face then punching it. Really, really hard. I want to be remembered as that someone who was able to rise above self-doubt and was rewarded with a life lived on her own terms.
In a previous challenge where a prompt was to write our own obituary, this is what I have accomplished:
Nerissa capped a long fruitful life lived on her own terms by dying peacefully in her sleep last night. She was 89.
As an accomplished researcher, she traveled the world to further advance the field and to share her expertise with others in the profession. She pioneered the development of tools that empowered stakeholders to better understand their market. Together with friends, she has established one of the most respected consulting firms in Asia.
She has also pursued her passion for writing to great acclaim. Two of her essays won the prestigious Palanca Awards. Her first full-length novel was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction before finally winning it for the final book in her critically acclaimed saga. And in 2027, she became the first non-American to win the Newberry Medal for her first foray into children’s literature.
Nerissa is survived by her two daughters, one son and her pet panda.
I wrote that 5 months ago. I’ve had a better understanding of living life on one’s own terms since then. I view it now as more of the pursuit of one’s passion irregardless of the conclusion. It’s not about achievement as dictated by others, rather it’s about having the courage to actually go for it. Living life on one’s own terms is about making a choice and standing by that choice.
Perhaps someday, someone would pass by my tombstone and say, “Oh her. I remember her. She lived her life like she was meant for great things. She was so passionate about it that she made me believe that she was. She made me believe that maybe I was meant for great things too.” Wherever I may be at that time, for sure I would be smiling.