Hundreds and Millions of Moments
Yesterday, while wandering the streets of New York City, I stumbled across a familiar restaurant. It was a restaurant that I’ve only eaten at once before, four years ago, on one of the stranger nights of my life.
For some reason, all this time later, I still remember it vividly.
I remember what I wore, probably because I changed at least three times before leaving my house. I remember what I ordered for dinner. I remember being so aware of who was to my left and who was to my right and praying that no one could see that my palms were sweating. I was young. I was lost. I was sad. I cared way too much.
Be cool, Alyssa. Just be cool. Fake it ’til you make it.
Yesterday, as I thought back to that night, I realized how much things can change in just a few short years. How quickly people can come in and out of our lives. How something that once seemed so important or devastating or debilitating can later mean absolutely nothing.
It’s beautiful and scary all at the same time.
I have always been guilty of viewing life as a beginning and an ending. An all or nothing. An introduction and a final chapter.
Slowly, I’m learning that life is not a race to the finish. It’s not something that we must piece together before time runs out. It’s not a single story which must have a happy ending to be considered worthy. It’s the hundreds and millions of moments we encounter along the way, both big and small; good and bad.
It’s a first date. A trip to the emergency room. A promotion. A new apartment. A sick relative. A weekend trip. A break-up. A make-up. A first kiss. An unexpected death. A fight with your best friend. An “I love you,” no matter how many times it takes to get right.
For so long, I held onto the past because I was scared to let go. I was scared to see what the future held. By doing so, I was preventing myself from moving forward to uncover the beautiful life that was in store for me. Not all good things last, but it’s important to remember that they were once good for a reason.
I don’t think that I’ll ever really have it all “figured out,” but I’m starting to learn to be okay with that. Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s about enjoying the journey, welcoming the new, making peace with the old, listening to your heart, and being certain that the universe is unfolding exactly as it should.
Yesterday, as I stood in front of that restaurant, I wished that I could go back in time to that strange evening four years ago. I wished that I could sit beside my younger self, hold her hand, and let her know that everything was going to be okay.