You might see this title and think to yourself, well aren’t these the same words. I used to think that too but a couple weeks ago I found out how to me, these two words mean very different things.
I was sitting and daydreaming about something or another. I think I was going to an event and I was thinking of how to represent myself to all those new people. Do I talk about my open heart surgery? Do I talk about mental health or bullying? Do I talk about my blog and business? Do I pretend those parts of me don’t exists? All these questions were going through my mind and more so I tried to separate the ideas. Yes I had open heart surgery, yes I was badly bullied, yes I have battled with mental health etc… but today who am I? Am I defined by my open heart surgery, does the open heart surgery equal Maya Lemaire? At this point I stopped and thought no, the open heart surgery did effect me and my life but today, at this moment on this bus it is not how I see myself. I don’t see myself as Maya Lemaire Open heart surgery survivor. Instead I see myself as Maya Lemaire, 21 year old, big dreams, with a drive to make positive change and help others.
So I tried to find a way to define this feeling. How I was indeed affected by all these experiences but how today, I see myself as both separate and as a part of these past experiences. It was then on this long long bus ride that I came up with this phrase (I am assuming I have come up with it but I haven’t researched to see if someone came up with this phrase first) “I have have been through defining moments but they do not define who I am today.”
To me this phrase shows how a moment can completely change the path of your life but at the same time, when you are at a point when you can look back on that certain moment you can see how while it did change your life, today, looking back, you are something completely different. Something that grew out of that defining moment.
Visually I see life as a path in outer space. That might sound odd but let me expand on that idea. Let’s start with this quote which is said by the Doctor from Doctor Who (A British Tv show) “People assume that time LIFE is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a nonlinear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey–wimey… stuff.” . If our path(our life path) is in outer space and we apply the Doctor’s very “specific” quote we could see that a path in outer space would not go in a straight line. Very much unlike a path on earth and solid ground, this outer space path could go up, down, disappear, reappear, go in a circle, fracture and be glued back together in a weird order etc... In theory you could even jump onto someone elses path and then back to yours. Basically it would be a really messed up path that makes no sens and seems to belong in a nonsensical place like Alice in Wonderland where anything is possible and nonsense makes sens.
Now going back to my phrase, if you have a defining moment, your outer space path can change directions or even become a completely new path. Now, let me paint a picture with an example. You have a problem with mental health, this is one of your defining moments, your outer space path switches directions from the one is was previously on and you are now in unknown space, a new path. Slowly after many steps backwards, many times up and down going through some space craters and space mountains this path leaves far away from this dark mental health turn that you had found yourself on. But then one day, all of a sudden,there’s a trigger or maybe there is no reason at all but you are back to the start of that mental health path. You follow the steps I mentioned of leaving that path behind but some time passes and you find that you are back to the start of the mental health path again once again. This cycle repeats and suddenly this path becomes no longer a line but a circle. Now, not only is this confusing but it makes the person never know where they are going because the path keeps switching as they are on it in weird and sometimes explainable ways. Things can happen so fast and without reason on this path of life that you are indeed in a weird unknown section of space at all time.
Let’s now add another layer to the mental health idea and the path I described. A defining moment set us on this outer space path and I mentioned how we appeared back to the start after walking very far away. Do you think we are the same person when we get to the beginning of this path for a second time? How about on the third, fourth and fifth time? Of course you aren’t. You learned on that path away from the mental health starting point and when you get back to that point your path away from that mental health situation will be different from before. Every time you get back to that point it will change in some way.(if you are a sci-fi fan think of almost like alternate realities with similar yet different versions of a same path) Seeing this imagery you can see that the defining moment sets a new path but if you revisit it you are not the same person who started on that path the first, second, third, fourth time.
Now I hope all that explanation made sens. If not, basically I am saying that like space our life is unknown, the path metaphor we almost all know makes sens but I think it should be set in space because life makes no sense, it’s full of unknowns and a path is never ever a simple line.
Wrapping all these ideas up. I have had moments in my life that were defining, some are still define parts of who I am today. But does defining moments don’t define how I see and represent myself today even though they are still a part of me and my journey. This is such a small but important difference because it leaves space to grow, to see where you have come from and know that today your are a whole of all those individual events which creates a beautiful and unique person. You.
Accept that life is full of unexplained things. That our path is like outer space and cannot be explained but that every weird, freaky or normal seeming turn brings you something extra. Something that defines part of you to create a whole.
If I would say these last two paragraphs in a line it would go something like this “We are all made up of many defining moments which permits us to define who we are today.”
I hope you enjoyed this post. Remember that you are beautiful and that every flaw and experience are not to be ashamed of but embraced when you are ready to do so. Every experience makes us stronger than before in many very different ways. We learn everyday, so today let’s learn to love ourselves and be kind to ourselves. Let’s also learn from this to be kind to others navigating their own intergalactic outer space path.