I believe that life is made up of many defining moments. I hope at the end of my life I’ll have the opportunity to pause and look back at the expansive and rocky terrain of my existence. I hope to see all of the peaks and valleys, craggy shores and calm seas as the most significant moments in a life well lived.
As I look back now, hopefully somewhere around half way through the journey, I can see the path thus far pretty clearly. Amazingly, it’s plotted with events and people who had profound effects on the directions I took, not always seemingly by choice.
Way, way back on my path is the chorus recital that ended with paralyzing stage fright, fear-induced vomiting and a recognition that I wanted to be an actor more than anything else in the whole world. At age 10, I remember sitting in slack-jawed awe staring at the New York City skyline as we drove by and knowing it was going to be my home someday. And there’s the time when the conductor on the subway announced that the train was out of service and no one knew why except there was a rumor that a plane had flown into a building downtown. Over there is the moment I first laid eyes on my now-husband and realized he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. The most recent jungle has been the terrifying and jubilant moment I made the decision to start my own business. All these moments; these razor sharp, gut-dropping moments when you know your life has pivoted, are the events that move us forward.
When we’re in the thick of the day-to-day, it’s hard to see those moments though. To know that they’re actually happening. It’s especially difficult when times are very tough. We lose our perspective. We wallow in our wine or chocolate or football, depending on our co-dependency. And that’s okay. As any pig in a mud hole can attest, sometimes wallowing is exactly what’s needed at the moment. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel knocked down once in a while, how will we know how brilliant it feels to stand up again and be fabulous?
This is the season of giving thanks and for enumerating all of the good things in our lives. How about a round of applause for all of the crappy, terrible things as well? Let’s salute the things we can’t control that didn’t go our way, the people who said “yes” but didn’t and the breaks that keep sliding out of reach. Let’s pay homage to the moment we blew the big job interview/pitch/presentation/whatever. Because these are our moments. These people, these times, these awful situations, they are the things that will create the topography of our landscape. Character isn’t sprinkled on with glitter glue and unicorn stickers. It is forged in sweat, tears, and triumph after defeat. The process of becoming our best selves is propelled by the moments we are at our lowest. So, in this time of appreciation, let’s raise a glass to ALL the moments we get to live.
‘Till next year.
LB Adams is the Owner of Pragmatic Dramatics based out of Charleston SC. Her company uses basic acting techniques and theatre games to train business professionals to communicate more effectively.
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