Everyone has a birthday, the day that set your self in motion on this earth. But there are certain choices we make, specific actions we take, that were set in motion during a specific moment. For instance, when I held a nervous little quail in my hands for a physiology lab, ready to induce the poor thing with diabetes, my vegetarian self was born. Watching my mother be a laborer for a huge company, my non-profit self was born.
It is interesting for me to consider those very mundane moments which mark the birthday of a part of yourself that is now monumental. The idea that events come to be indelible marks on your identity is by no means novel — it’s very Freudian (and I don’t like Freud). But I was used to thinking of these self-changing events as being enormous; day-time talk show worthy. But they aren’t. Sometimes it’s just the fact that you have shrugged your shoulders in indifference 7 times that hour and realized, “this isn’t how it should be.” Sometimes someone has been talking for 20 minutes straight and you have thought “whatever” for the 14th time. And meant it. Whatever.
This morning as I stood in the Virginia sun-shine of my south-facing window in a high-rise overlooking the world, I walked across my large bedroom and remembered that I was here because of disappointment. This me was born through a series of small, yawn inducing disappointments. A series of boring meetings that go no where can launch you 800 miles away and 15 stories in the air. For months, I saw that people I admired were not all that admirable. I saw that a system I was trying so hard to be a part of was kind of lame. I saw indecision, lack of interest, insecurity, uncertainty. I saw a lack of curiosity. I saw that maybe I didn’t belong.
The indolence of others can expedite revolution in their brothers.
And so I revolted, grabbed Trevor’s hand and asked if he thought there was something happening somewhere else, and would he come with me to look? I’m so glad he did. I think comfort is what you shoot for when your vision is gone and your hips are bad. In the mean time, make changes. If you don’t, life will make them for you anyway.