I tell you, life is loss. But what have I lost, that gives me the authority to declare it so? I live with more than sufficient material wealth, I have not known death in my immediate family, and I have yet to enter a romantic relationship serious enough to lament losing.
The greatest losses are still ahead. I have not known stormy sailing except by secondhand account.
That which I have lost, pains by virtue of it being lost, not by its worth alone. (If I had been born with clear vision, how much worse would it have been to become near-sighted?)
We can only truly know that which we have lost, for if it lies still in our grasp, it is still unfolding, and if it is still unfolding, we have not seen its entirety. Nostalgia is our attempt to do right by a memory that we jilted in the living of it.
Can I be nostalgic for my present?
(I am sitting in La Guardia Airport, Terminal C, waiting for a flight to Boston. I am tired, but open to new thoughts. I am procrastinating. I am excited for my future in graduate school, in science).
You will read this and know it better than I can know it.
--Derek Huang, 02/18/14