Time, My Most Cherished Gift

Karen Butterfield
Karen Butterfield
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The most important one is time. As I see it, there is so much time saved throughout the day. For instance, I no longer drive to school. In my previous life, most things were generally routine. A night of sleep, a drive after school, a load of laundry, a hot bath, a cup of tea, and it goes on. After certain years, these things fall into my category of averageness. Although it becomes a sense of boredom and repetition, this weariness and repetition are the inspirations for my creations. This time and flexibility allowed by the online world during the coronavirus urged me to plan, organize, analyze, and particularly create. I strive to appreciate my daily activities as often as I can.

“Nobody ever figures out what life is about, and it does not matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough”.

This has opened me to an appreciation for ideas, people, and things. Perhaps I also get inspired by not what I know, but by what I do not know. As I glance at the starry night sky, staring at the incomprehensible–the infinite space above me, I experience an overwhelming awareness of how little I know. It reminds me of the unclarity of life. It proves to me that what I think I know is probably wrong. -Richard Feynman said that “Nobody ever figures out what life is about, and it does not matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough”. At the base of almost everything, the conclusion is we do not know. The reason I sleep and dream remains a mystery. People are fascinating; I can’t help but appreciate their creativity. The little moments make me excited and the mistakes become less significant.

To answer the question, navigating online has been hectic, busy, and confusing. It has been an experience of waiting an hour on a phone call, getting an email response after 5 days, not understanding my statistics class, watching excessive Tiktok videos, and much more. However, I have been able to generate ideas like never before. Often my inspirations are random thoughts, memories, illusions, or simply something that I do not know. I wonder if my inspirations are nothing, somehow through me, they become everything. I wonder if I create art by living through it.

I believe that this creativity impacts a great part of my future. This ability allows me to take risks, to be open-minded. It permits me to reveal my inhibitions. This side of me helps me approach situations from many perspectives. I see things differently and better deal with uncertainty. I have become vulnerable to share my art and accept that some of my creations may never see light again. Most importantly it improved my health and life, provided relaxation and serenity; it filled my life with positive emotions such as love, forgiveness, joy, and hope. This is my experience living and navigating in an online world.

Editor’s Note: This essay was written by Annika Pierre Michel, winner of the 2021 YuJa Essay Scholarship Contest. Learn more about Annika here.

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