I’ve been wanting to write about The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan for a long time now… Ever since I read the first few pages of her work. The problem was that I never had the chance to finish reading her collection of short stories and essays, so it didn’t seem right to talk about it. But I think I was wrong. Within the first half of the book, Marina had already inspired me.
The other night my friend said something so alarming to me, and I thought of the words I had read in The Opposite of Loneliness. “I should have majored in ____”, “I should have done ____”, he said.
I looked at him, eyes wide, bewildered that at the age of 22, a person could already have ‘I should have’s.
I think now more than ever, people are proving that it’s never too late. People are keeping their sense of possibility alive. House wives are going back to school to pursue what they really love. Corporate workers are branching out and investing in their own businesses. I think that the number of ambitions and go-getters and believers has peaked.
In “Bygones” Marina wrote, “I want enough time to be in love with everything… And I cry because everything is so beautiful and so short.”
I want to spend each day loving life. Because everything is so fleeting, but it’s not short enough that you don’t have time to make the life you wish you had. We have to remember that “we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over.” Whether you’re 22 or 80 years old.
I love Marina’s stories and essays, because Marina loved and hoped throughout her whole life. Marina’s life may have been cut short, but I have a feeling it wasn’t any less full. And so I’ll pick up The Opposite of Loneliness and I’ll reread the pages I already read and explore the new ones, and I’ll keep Marina’s words safe with me, because more than anything, her words radiate positivity. They’re real. And she makes you want to live everything bigger and cherish better. And she reminds me that it’s never too late for anything and that life is fleeting and absolutely beautiful.
And I could tell my friend with the upmost certainty. “You still can”