Only the perfect among us have lived a life without worry. Good news for the rest of us – I haven’t met anyone claiming perfection. What I have met, though, are beautiful dreamers – dozens of them. I’ve met men and women and children experiencing pain and searching for joy. I’ve met families who have faced such hardship you would be at a loss for where to find hope, and I have seen them still radiate with joy. I have seen marvelous individuals come to face obstacles. I have faced obstacles. And I have seen these same people choose to sit back, reflect, and regain the strength to move forward.
Yet I know, in the midst of a struggle, it’s hard to find hope. I understand, when everything seems so overwhelming and the future so uncertain, it’s hard to carry enough faith to move forward. It’s hard to see past the now, to feel past the worry.
It’s hard to experience the little moments that matter.
But the thing is, in ten, fifteen, fifty years, what is going to matter more: the fear that captured your breath or the future that swept you away? I’m guessing the latter. In fact, take that back. I know it’s the latter! When you look back on your life, and flip through your memories, what is going to matter most is not how much anxiety you felt before that next interview or how much sorrow you carried with the loss of a friend. No way!
What will matter – what does matter – are the choices you made, and the incredible possibilities your choices create. What you will remember are the simple somethings that made each moment of each day an authentic touch more complete.
In fifty years, my friend, what will matter most are these thirty moments:
- The day you decided to move out of your comfort zone. You made a pro/con list. You asked a dozen people you knew. And you ignored all the data – didn’t even tally the votes – and just went for it.
- The moment you decided to stay there – outside your comfort zone. And live there. Even when things got hard.
- Every morning you woke up in time to see the sun rise – the colors of angels lighting up the sky. And especially those mornings when you decided to stop. When you did nothing but breathe in and simply stare.
- Each afternoon when you chose to walk home. When you smiled at strangers and made friends with the dogs.
- That one cab ride when you climbed in the backseat of a Honda, smiled to the driver, and decided to ask much more than ‘how long have you driven for uber?’
- That conversation when someone asked, “How are you doing?” and you answered, instead, as though you had just said, ‘I’m fine,’ and, in exchange, she pushed, “No really, how are you?”
- The time you laughed without holding your smile together. You were just happy. Your emotion was pure.
- The moments you smiled for no reason at all. It was truly incredible how the smile filled you, filled the room, filled the world with such joy.
- Those dozens of moments when you realized you were happy. So you didn’t say anything. You didn’t fear anything.
- The dozens more moments when you felt truly proud. I can still see how high your graceful shoulders were rising.
- The night you undressed just to sing in the shower. Joy finally made sense, and lifted your heart.
- When you jumped in a crowd and spoke without thinking. Sarcasm flew through your tone, spontaneity brought you to life.
- That feeling of a pen and a paper and words falling to a page. That feeling of having something to share.
- The morning you awoke and smiled in the mirror. You didn’t need a reason more than the reflection being you.
- Summer days when the sun glazed your back with its warmth, as you walked through the city, a friend at your side.
- That squeeze of his arms around your back. The beautiful tension of you hugging back.
- Being a deer in the headlights, a novice at life. But still trying, and stumbling. And having a moment when things again made some sense.
- Watching a child’s eyes overflow with pure light. Being part of the magic of that child growing self-love.
- Deciding to be responsible for a woman in pain, so you steadied your focus and restored her to a smile.
- Sitting in a dark room, surrounded by people, you felt so alone, so you chose to say, ‘Hi.’
- Sitting in a loud room, you saw a girl all alone, so you walked past the others, and reached out to say, ‘Hi.’
- The day you recognized your weakness, and you didn’t ignore it. You didn’t deny it. You didn’t even reach for it. Instead, you asked why.
- Making the choice to come out from hiding. With one word, one action, one click of the mouse, your voice suddenly became an authentic agent of change.
- The first time someone complemented you, and you chose to say thank you. It was simple and still just oh so very hard.
- That conversation you had where you did nothing but listen. You smiled, you nodded, and you were purely there for a friend.
- The evening you two sat on a park bench. You waded through sprinklers, watched cyclists in tutus, and laughed all the way through Pharrell William’s “Happy Song.”
- The moment you fell in love with your body. You forgot from time to time, but you always returned home to yourself.
- The day you just couldn’t breathe, looking at how much time had passed. Guess what? You’re still reading this. You still chose a breath.
- The tears you shed for a loss, and the choice to sit in the pain. Yes, it was hard. And for that, you grew.
- The butterflies you felt for the uncertain future, and the choice to live now with the energy of pure faith.
If you stop and just remember, in a series of moments, your life hasn’t been perfect. And it’s sure far from over. But, my friend, your life’s beautiful –
It’s everything perfection never could bring.
© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.