Defining Moments

Throughout our lives there are thoughts, words, experiences that result in a moment when we say to ourselves, Aha, so that’s who I am. It might be climbing a mountain, standing at the summit, feeling the exaltation of reaching the peak. It might be stumbling into a pit so deep that light is suffocated by the blackness. It might be winning a chess game. It might be making music and hearing the accolades of fans. Perhaps even reading a good book and finding your heart racing as the hero rescues the heroine and takes her into his arms. Or it might simply be the kind/nasty word of a friend/enemy in greeting.

Whatever the source, for most of our lives we allow ourselves to be defined by external circumstances. The source is irrelevant, whether it be an irrational president, a political party, a hate group, a family member, or a classmate.

From this point in my life history, I look back and see myself as flotsam being buffeted about by wind and wave. My defining moments have been many and varied, some positive, some negative, but almost all from somewhere other than my true self, the I AM that has always been with me, that I’ve struggled to find. Only now, older, I get an inkling of who I am and who I might become.

Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I don’t know — yet. But I still find it sad that we allow ourselves to be defined by forces over which we have no control or influence. I am not a bald, overweight, old man. I am a bit of stardust, a citizen of the Universe, trying to enjoy as much of this lifetime as possible before moving on to the next. Maybe this is another defining moment for me!

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