Yesterday I mentioned defining moments, the moments that shape who we are. I’ve been thinking about them a lot since I saw The Vow. Obsessed might be a good word for how I feel, actually. I’ve exhausted the subject in my journal, but instead of boring you with details, I’ll just say this: if I lost all memory of the last two years, I wouldn’t really be me. Some fundamentals would exist, of course, but most of the things I like about myself are a result of my experiences. The same is true for all of us. We live and we learn.
The day before I wrote, “Your Picture Gets Me Every Time,” I had a conversation with a friend who’d just become a mom. Her words hit me like a train, and in retrospect, the conversation, and the piece I wrote as a result, were defining moments. I didn’t know this then, but the piece was my last act of mourning for the mother I never knew and the life I could have had. It’s interesting to read it now, because I’m no longer caught up in “what ifs” and “if onlys” (at least not in that situation). I’ve accepted it just is what it is, and I don’t waste time or energy pining after other possibilities. Of course, it wasn’t just one conversation that did it; it was a process a few years in the making. The conversation kind of just sealed the deal, or, as I’m going to call them from now on, it was a moment of impact. And if I didn’t have the memory, if I didn’t learn the lessons as a result of that experience, I’d still be licking those wounds.
I feel pretty good about myself when I compare where I am today to where I was a few years ago. What have some of your defining moments been? What moments of impact changed you from one path to another? Or maybe think of it like this: who were you five years ago, and what do you know today that you didn’t know then?