“Maybe you can afford to wait.
Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow.
Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers.
So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today.
And the truth is, you never really know. “
“People are all over the world telling their one dramatic story and how their life has turned into getting over this one event. Now their lives are more about the past than their future. “
We all have moments, you know, cross-road moments. Ok. There are actually a shitload of crossroad moments, in fact, so many your head would explode if you truly counted them. But, in this case, I mean ‘that moment’ kind of moment.
That moment we believe our world and Life shifted direction.
One moment in which something died within us … or something came to Life within us.
The proverbial and metaphorical fork in the road.
I will not argue that these moments not only play a large role in life nor will I argue that these moments can be infinitely important. But. What I will suggest is that, maybe, we make these moments important to us in the wrong way.
Maybe we need not reflect upon them because they are … well … in the past.
We have already left ‘there’ and are now ‘here’ and are … well … on our way to ‘somewhere.’
I don’t know. I saw this quote and it made me think.
It made me think about how often when asked about ‘how did you get here’ we so quickly shift into the past and, well, not talk about what is happening now. Nor do we answer this question by discussing where we are going, i.e., the future.
It made me think about how we value our past decisions so highly and maybe not value decisions to come at the same value.
It made me think that we assess value in size rather than in quantity.
It made me think about how many choices we have, have many of those choices are truly meaningful, and how many more are actually meaningless, how poorly we assess meaningful & meaningless, and how often a ‘fork choice’ doesn’t really look like a fork when standing there.
Sure. Some of us probably have ‘that moment’ stored somewhere in our past. But I imagine more of us actually have a whole bunch of seemingly meaningless little moments, almost unrecognizable, that have got us to where we are attitudinally, intellectually and physically.
It made me think maybe by reliving ‘that moment’ we are setting us up for unrealistic future moment management.
It made me think maybe we are continuously seeking big earth-shattering moments in the future by doing so.
It made me think that maybe, in reality, the future is made up of infinitesimal little moments in which we are made, broken, reshaped & remade.
Aw. Shit. This is all philosophical rambling on my part.
letters to myself note to future self
All I know for sure is that I will hesitate from here on out to dramatize some past event as ‘meaningful in my Life’ beyond the fact it was but a moment. I will hesitate to think that “everything would have been different” if I had done something in that moment.
I will not argue that there are some moments we would all like to have back and do something differently. I imagine my real point is that there were most likely a succession of moments that led up to it (that were just as important) and there are moments after that moment in which things may have unfolded just as poorly, or maybe not as well if we had done something differently.
But I do know that I will just take … well …. a moment or two clarifying in my mind that some moment I am thinking about was not necessarily ‘that moment’, but simply ‘a moment.’
I imagine my hope in doing this is that maybe thinking this way I will make every moment a little more important in the future.
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A version of this post previously appeared at Enlightened Conflict and is republished with permission from the author.
Photo courtesy Pixabay.