The course of our lives change every moment. It sounds flippant to say that every last second of every day matters but it does. Every move we make has ripple effects in our lives and those of others. Our lives can change in a split second.
My life has had various seconds where I saw the change that was about to happen. I anticipated it as it was coming. I’ll never be the same after this moment. Finding Herbert late at night in my home was one of those moments. Lets be clear, Herbert wasn’t Herbert then, he was no persona. Just an asymmetrical mass. “Is that a brain tumor?!” I screamed to my sister and her only response was, “well technically it’s next to your brain.”
Herbert was just one of the many moments I knew life would never be the same. His presence robbed me of my hearing on one side, my relative good attitude and my general health. He took the feeling in the right side of my head. He forced me, in a second, to face my mortality. He was one of many moments. The moment I met my college dance instructor and he stole my breath from me, I should have known, and part of me did, that nothing would ever be the same. The day I got into my Masters program and I ran barefoot from the mailbox to the front door in my plaid cherry creek boxers, I felt my world change. This time for the better. The day I said goodbye to my high school sweetheart sitting in a desk chair in my dorm I knew life would cease going on as I knew it. The day I picked all my nail polish off because there was a cute older guy next to me, nothing stayed the same. The day I walked out on my last job. The moment I started the car. The moment I drove away from this or from that. The moment we skipped a beat. The moment we stopped to take it in. The moment we tried to take it all back. The moments we wasted on anger. The moments we shared with family. the moment I stopped laughing. The moment I was determined to laugh. It all changed. Every second changes us and in those moments we changed.
I teach students every semester and my main goal is to get them to see our interconnectedness. Our actions here today have a ripple effect across the world. We are complicit in the fate of others, good and bad. The resources we consume, our relative safety, our meals, our phones, our purchases, our words, our actions, our everyday. Someone somewhere is connected and our actions can foster wars that strip people of rights or if we push back we can interrupt cycles of oppression and poverty. We have a power in the state of the world.
Life is not fate. Life is not a Matt Damon movie where men in hats go through secret doors causing us to stick to the plans that are set for us. Life is change and transition. It’s messy and uncomfortable. It changes in a second. I just wish I knew which second would make the change that puts us where we are meant to be. If that were even a thing.
Peace and love-