Monday, November 9, 2009

Last Lecture #2



The Last Lecture Project is a reoccurring feature on this blog where people (anyone!) submit answers to question on things they've learned in their lives. It is my hope to first, collect a history of people and their thoughts on life and second, to inspire not only myself but others with these stories from everyday people. Just like the late Randy Pausch in his Last Lecture, may he rest in peace. If you have something you'd like to submit to this project, please email me at jackee.alston@gmail.com. All contributions are anonymous unless otherwise directed.







This little project of mine hasn't taken like I'd hoped it would, so here goes... I'm entering my OWN submission. I thought I might as well tell you because I'm sure those close to me would guess anyway. I do have two others to post, but I want more. Please send them! Humor me, okay?





1. What is the one accomplishment or event you are most proud of in your life?



That's easy. I've three children who light up the world and will continue to outshine me or any of their ancestors before me because they have so much potential. So there. My one accomplishment was actually three events and involved very little effort to myself. Just childbirth. Ha, ha!

If I can cheat, I would also add on a second thing: my education. I believe so strongly in higher learning, whether you use the degrees or not. In my case I did for a few years in the work force, but in just the pure knowledge I learned, I use that every time I'm around nature. Which is everyday. And I love teaching my children about plants, animals, and the environment surrounding them. As an added benefit, my education gave me confidence in myself that I previously didn't have. I wouldn't say I was a great biologist, but I loved what I did and will return someday. If it says anything about me, I was only the second female graduate student my professor had ever taken on in a 35 year-long career. (Not for his lack of trying, they just always quit.)


2. What was the most amazing thing you have seen happen in your lifetime?



I'll never forget where I was when the Challenger exploded, the Berlin Wall came down, or when the Trade Towers fell. I've seen the Sistine Chapel and sculptures of the greats, but the most amazing thing I've ever seen happen was closer to home: it when after delivering my firstborn, I fell asleep and they took her away to weigh her. In what seemed like forever (though more like two hours), they finally brought her back. I felt my whole being swell with love for this tiny creature. That feeling was the most amazing thing I have ever felt and her face was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Having children is truly the toughest job I've ever loved.




3. What is a piece of advice you wish someone would have given you early on in your life?




I wish someone would have told me to never care what people thought of me. A mantra to live by is you are only limited by your own insecurities. My insecurities always stemmed from what I thought others thought of me. Now I try only to just be the best that I can be in everything I do and say. Happiness invariably follows because I'm not trying to please others.



4. What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your parents or guardians?



My parent's greatest gift to me was that they never thought there was something I couldn't do. I was never told my abilities were restricted. If I put my mind to something, they supported me in it. I've tried to instill that in my own children: whether it is a talent or an action that comes naturally to them or no, I never pooh-pooh it if they're willing to try. My husband is the same way, to me and our children.




5. Who were your childhood heroes?




I was a goofy kid and because of that I think I admired people like Anne of Green Gables and Jo from Little Women. They were all girls who didn't fit in and yet came into their own. I would have been about 9-12 years old when I read and reread these books. I didn't watch a lot of TV, but obviously I was a big reader. The characters in books influenced me more than anything. A real person whom I always looked up to was my grandfather. He has a way of making every person around him feel special and I've always wanted to be like that. It really is a gift with him.



6. What has made you happiest in your life?

My marriage and my religion. From both stem my family ties that I feel will last for eternity. And who could blame me for being happy about that? My husband makes me a happier, CALMER, and more fun person. I may be his better half as I'm always told, but he makes me that better half. Besides, without him I would not have my wonderful children.




7. If there’s one thing you could say to your great-great-great grandchildren, what would it be?

Every generation has their trials and problems, the trick is to stand tall and stay true to yourself and what you believe to be important. And if ever you are sad or down, go and help someone--serve until your outside hurts more than your inside.




8. What is something you want people to remember about you?



I don't necessarily care if people remember me, I want them to remember how I made them feel about themselves. Whether that is by word or deed, it is the greatest compliment and the hardest thing to accomplish because you must always be aware of others and how you are treating them.








There it is! I'm a little embarrassed that you know this is me but I still tried to be as honest as I could. Now submit! I want to see what everyone else has to say.

1 comment:

  1. I love your answers! I think they're very honest and totally you, and your kids and grandkids are lucky to have you. :)

    ReplyDelete