Life is indeed dangerous, but not in the way morality would have us believe. It is indeed manageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable because it is a romance, and its essence is romantic beauty.
I believe in the grand things in life. Every time I go to a new event, I believe it’s going to change my life. I think to myself, “This is where I’m going to meet someone amazing,” or “This is when I stumble into something big.” “This day is the day.”
Every time. Every new orientation, workshop, and now, hackathon. The event happens, and afterwards, my life feels eeriely the same. I met new people, learned new things, and had new experiences. If I were lucky, I would have met one or two people with whom I had a connection, and perhaps a conversation would linger. After the event though, however grand in scheme it was, at the end of the night, I still walk home the same path, taking the same steps, with that same hunch. I drag my feet a little, which makes me fumble when I walk.
I get home, flop on my bed, take a mental note of how “messy” my room is. I remark at how extraordinarily normal it is, even when minutes ago I felt like everything was new and different. Perhaps then I feel a slight twinge of disappointment. It didn’t change my life like I thought it would.
But, is life made up of a string of big events? Or is it made up of those small big moments, every day. Things happen, and I may not even think them remarkable, but because they happened, they changed the trajectory of something else, and instantaneously life is forever different.
All of this sounds so vague and obtuse. I just participated in my first hackathon this past weekend. This hackathon was the first time teams of creative people were assembled together to craft a compelling story, nominated by changemakers working on real wicked issues, such as gun control, poverty, detention, living wages, etc. I was more excited about it than I had been for any other big New York event, but why? But nothing happened as I thought it would. My team’s project didn’t turn out like everyone else’s. It wasn’t polished, it wasn’t professional, I don’t even know if it got the point of the hackathon across. Maybe it made me so uncomfortable because I was part of the emergent group (and my group was amazing), but the story that emerged was my own. It had been a story I had buried, even while it happened.
And the product of it was me on screen, talking about it. I never thought I’d actually retell that story again, but now it exists. About 200 people heard it, and it was scary.
I didn’t walk into this event this weekend thinking this is the story I’d help tell, and this is the product I’d help produce. But it happened; two seemingly unrelated events, one playing on loop in the world of the past, and the other unfolding now in the present. Well, then, what will the convergence of these two events mean for the future? Again, I am speaking obtusely.
I guess I’m saying that the grand things in life can be the smallest, most seemingly insignificant things, but they’re so grand in the most romantic, wonderful ways. Every day is “the day.”
More on this later, but in the meantime, here’s my thought process of this weekend:
Memory Moment Thirty Eight.