Archive for June, 2011

twists and turns and imperfection

06/09/2011

A fascinating thing to me is to take a close examination of life in the context of the forces applied. Allow me to explain.

In relation to time, we’re on an allegorical one-way street. Moving inexorably forward, heedless of our own protestations. Closer to death. Further from youth and the accompanying exuberance. Learning more. Knowing less.

In relation to space, to personality, to behavior, to state of mind, we’re always shifting. Always changing. Never stagnant. We may feel like a glass of tepid water at times, but even within that glass a multitude of things are happening – bacteria is growing, dust is accumulating, temperatures are rising and falling. We may feel numbed. We may feel bored. But beneath that veneer of contextual emotions, our brains are developing (or degrading), we’re learning new things and our attitude is changing – a long history of personal experience is writing itself in the stacks of our chattering minds, building toward various crescendos that we may or may not recognize.

my change

I write this post in a time of larger transition – slightly physical, slightly mental, slightly emotional…a little bit of everything thrown into an imperfect mixing bowl comprised of my emotional well-being, my habits and my intellect (or lack thereof).

I was able to track down a few of the instigating factors behind this change, examining the twists, turns and “what-ifs”:

  1. A girl I met at pre-college seven years ago at Ohio University. If I hadn’t met her, the primary instigator of the ensuing change, I would not be in the place I am now.
  2. Deciding on a Journalism degree instead of History because I simply wanted to write more
  3. Picking OU over Miami because of their Journalism program. One of the unknowingly wisest decisions I’ve ever made. Still can’t get over the fact that I even considered Miami…
  4. The girl who inspired this very blog post with a single sentence and has no idea – and never will (not that it’s very direction-changing, but you never know)

In times of crisis, people seem to ask the question “How did I get here?” They search for some mysterious answer in their past that will illuminate the future. I ask the same question in times of prosperity, knowing that the smallest decisions I make now – the SMALLEST decisions – have boundless unrecognized consequences on the future. It’s chaos theory. It’s unpredictable. It’s imperfect. And it’s beautiful.

How many times have you remembered the tiniest details of an interaction only to recall it at a later date for some specific purpose? To prove a point, to reveal a flaw or inconsistency,┬áto make a decision in which you’re vacillating – we all do it. Grandma does it. Your mailman does it. Barack does it. And the ripple effect of that small detail only escalates.

life is a beautiful, imperfect thing

Because it doesn’t last.

Awkward segue aside…life is beautiful because it will fade. Embrace death and you’ve embraced life. I don’t mean this in a dark, cryptic way, either. I wouldn’t have gotten the tattoo on my forearm if it was meant to be dark and cryptic – that just ain’t my style.

By realizing this fact we can recognize the random imperfections for what they are – they are perfect. We need to appreciate the inconsistencies, the ebbing and flowing of the space-time continuum, instead of waiting for that perfect moment that never comes.

I heard a story the other day about a guy who hadn’t kissed a girl after no less than 12 dates because he was “waiting for the perfect moment.” He finally kissed her while they were both highly intoxicated at a dance club with a group of friends. The perfect moment? Probably not. Hilarious? Yep. (which makes it the perfect moment…catching on yet?)

Challenge the very basic assumptions of your cognition of space and time by appreciating these simple facts…by making so many moments last for what I like to call a “baby eternity.”

OK, so I got a bit off topic from where I was initially going with this, but, as Ray Bradbury says, “Digression is the soul of wit.”

Now if only I was witty.