Making my final rounds scrolling Twitter at 1am Wednesday night in my London dorm room, I stared at my dimly lit MacBook screen, stunned as the Steve Jobs tweets started pouring in. I quickly glanced at my sleeping roommate then outside to the Kensington Streets in London, expecting riots to disrupt the quiet suburb. But life remained still and I felt an urgency to tell someone in London, talk to someone, to communicate and make sense of the chaos. But I couldn’t – everyone was asleep. So I opened my MacBook, iPhone3Gs and reached out to my friends and family in California and Boston.
I wondered why Steve’s passing affected me so directly. When I moved 3,000 miles from California to Boston and now another 3,000 miles to London, I deeply relied on Apple products to keep me in touch with my loved ones and the communities I’ve built for myself. Remembering my early freshman days of the first Boston snowfall, I missed San Francisco more than I ever have before. Laying in bed, I turned my iPhone over and read “Designed in California,” soon calming my nerves that a little bit of home was with me wherever I went.
This week was a harsh reminder that bad things happen to good people. At age 56, Steve’s losing battle with cancer sharply ended his young life. As I reflected on Steve’s accomplishments across Apple and Pixar, I combined my grief for Steve’s passing and the approaching Yom Kippur fast in a few hours. How did Steve inspire others? How did Steve build relationships and understand the human need? How have I positively impacted others? Teaching guitar lessons to a friend? Opening doors for people? Performing well in my classes and internships to make my family proud? How have I failed? How can I improve for this next year? What do I really want after graduation?
As I begin the next 24 hours of soul searching and meditation, I am fortunate to see an outpour of Steve Jobs inspirational quotes and videos to encourage and motivate me to have an easy fast and a meaningful upcoming year.
Thanks Steve, for connecting me to my loved ones when I needed it the most.