There are these moments in my life, and everyone’s lives, I’m sure, that have stood the test of time. For one reason or another, they have lasted and endured, and then they imprint and stay. I can always recall them with extreme vividness and clarity, like I was just there moments ago. They are, how I like to say, ‘tattooed in my brain’.
It could be the small, delicate details of the way that something looked or the exact words that someone said. It could be how I felt or where I was when something defining happened. And these are essentially the moments that make up our lives. But I always find it interesting as to how these particular moments get chosen or get stuck.
There are big moments of course, like when I heard Santa on the roof when I was 4 years old. I can recall exactly how the light was hitting the room and where the shadows fell. I remember how my body felt; frozen and almost paralyzed from a generous dose of fear, mixed with a tiny bit of excitement.
I can vividly see the run-down kitchen of the house where we picked out my childhood cat. The floors were scuffed and broken up; a sea of paws above them. Some of the cats were playing and jumping on each other and one was just crouched down, over to the side; silent and still. She looked frightened and scared. There was black goo coming out of her eyes and ears were filthy with dirt. I of course picked her.
Then there’s the smaller moments, the ones that seem insignificant but I’m sure on some level, could not be further from the truth. I remember playing with a friend in grade 5 or 6. We went down to the beach and our shoes got muddy. She panicked and told me she couldn’t go home with her shoes looking the way they did. They were brown leather clogs and I can still feel her anxiety to this day.
In grade 9, I bought my boyfriend at least 6 pep patties for his birthday; they were his favourite. Do you remember pep patties? They were big, like the size of your palm. I chickened out and didn’t end up giving them to him. I ate them instead. I remember how they tasted and the relief I felt as I devoured one after another.
So the big moments, sure, I get it, they are defining and impactful, they should stand the test of time. But the small moments? How do they gain enough traction? What is it that causes them to imprint? I think a lot can be learned from these strange little snippets.
There’s no doubt that these moments, both big and small, help to develop and contribute to who we are. They reinforce our beliefs and personalities but they can also remind us of how much we’ve changed and how far we’ve come.
The thing I love most is that we never really know when the next moment will come along – the moment that sticks. It could be big, so we might be more aware that it’s happening, or it could just be common, everyday stuff – the things we so easily fly past. It could be our own moment or it could be someone else’s.
It’s beautiful, really, to not to know.
It means that any day, any time, at any moment, you and the people around you, and the world you connect with, could co-create a moment that literally lasts a lifetime. It means that always – even when we’re not fully on board – bigger things are happening behind the scenes and a bigger story is being told.
The Moments That Don’t Let Go