I am prone to eventicizing moments in my life. Perhaps it’s the storytellerish person in me – the one who revels in sharing an experience with another so we can wonder at it together. Perhaps it’s because some moments feel one hell of a lot like an event.
Sometimes we build things up in our minds as these possibly colossal, life altering things, and then it ends up being just another day that begins and ends, like each one before and after it. – Simone
Making a moment into an event colors the way we are affected by it. If I flag a moment as noteworthy, if I confide in friends about it, if I express emotion about it, if I allow it thought and analysis – it becomes an event.
And an event is a lot like a surreal carousel. Its heart begins to beat, irregularly, but with force. Fast, so the curiously colored animals pump down and up at breakneck speed, then slow enough even a snail wouldn’t notice their movement. A mermaid signing hula songs might drop from the rafters while straw-hatted horses walk about peddling pomegranate juice while suddenly a tissues is asleep in your arms, fluttering lightly with each peaceful snore if gives off. Nothing that alive can ever be under control.
Of course, events are also prone to spark conversation. Friends will ask after the event. “How are you feeling about that?” they’ll say cautiously, wanting to be both concerned but distant. Yet even a mention of it lights up the flashing blubs and chalkboard art and dizzying melodies.
I’m considering what it means to let a moment remain as just that – as it is – rather than what it could be. Jesse said something interesting on the topic: Each moment is big. And it passes. So really it is small. But it counts. As much as we want it to. Or as scant as we want it to. But is it about wanting? Or is it really about allowing?
Most of my 2014 (okay, all of my 2014) has been dedicated to the practice of mindfulness. As I’ve continued to make space for my anxiety and intense emotions and work with them rather than against them, I have noticed that I also control what I allow to really matter. And indeed, there are moments I want to matter. I wish they would matter. I have considered getting down on my hands and knees and begging them to matter. But that’s the emotional side of me.
The mindful side of me embraces those feelings, and whispers don’t let it. Accept it for what it is. Of course, there’s a tricky balance between being using mindfulness to your advantage and straight up repression of feelings. But that’s another blog post, I suppose.
Letting moments be moments (that may or may actually be events, depending on what moments, actions, feelings, and reactions may follow that are out of our control) feels a bit like an experiment, with the hypothesis being that doing so will allow me to live even more in the now.