I always like to think about how younger versions of ourselves had once passed through places that older versions of ourselves now pass through; a grocery store, a mall. How we hold things that other people have held, at other points in time.
My grandma sent us a newspaper clipping from 1983, when she and my dad were in nursing school together. It’s crazy to think that she, 37, and my dad, 18, once held this in her kitchen, in her house, in Parma, in 1983. And then she held it again in 2006 the car, at 60, as she moved from Cleveland to Las Vegas. Then she held it at 71 and mailed it to us. And now myself and my dad, now 51, hold it in 2017.
And it hasn’t changed, but we have. And it’s traveled through all this time, and so have we, but in a seemingly different way. It makes time seem so abstract to think that I now hold something that younger versions of other people have held and touched at some other points in the time loop. And I say ‘loop’ because I truly believe that, eventually, everything comes full circle.
After all, the newspaper has found itself back in a kitchen, in a house, in Parma.
I like that moment just after the rain clears. I like the feeling of coziness that accompanies Christmastime. I like when nature can take my breath away. I like looking into someone’s eyes and finding them there, looking back. I like when you can be silent with another person and still be comfortable. I like when touching by accident isn’t awkward. I like meeting someone for the first time and instantly feeling like I’ve known them my entire life.
I like that moment when you first wake up and your bed is so comfortable and you feel completely relaxed. I like the feeling of spring. I like capturing memories with pictures. I like when I’m not the only one who feels something. I like when I’m reading and I have to put the book down for a moment because a sentence just resonated that deeply with me. I like being able to create something out of nothing.
I like the sound of a piano playing. I like when making eye contact isn’t awkward. I like when people laugh. I like thinking about how big the universe is. I like noticing little details about people. I like when people notice little details about me. I like the feeling of a brand new book being opened for the first time. I like how clean a fresh journal looks.
I like that split-second at the top of a roller coaster right before the drop. I like happy accidents. I like words of affirmation. I like transformative moments for characters. I like when I can say hi to a passing stranger and it isn’t weird. I like looking at the stars and pretending I’m in a snow globe. I like how your cheeks burn from the cold after a fast sled ride down a hill. I like feeling someone else’s heart beating.
I like that moment when a conversation suddenly becomes real and alive, dissolving the layers of irony and sarcasm both people have been hiding under. I like when someone says something that grounds me, and for a moment I don’t feel so at odds with the world. I like when an every day moment seems so irrelevant at the time, but when I look back, it was an essential turning point in life.
I like making eye contact with someone from across a room and having that one little action speak more volumes than their words ever will. I like when someone hugs me for a second longer. I like when all the things that were left unsaid are finally said. I like putting recognition to these little moments that happen every day, but that people rarely take notice of.
They want to see you succeed, but they never want to see you do better than them.
We’ve all heard that phrase before and, until now, I’ve never given it much weight. I took it with a grain of salt and moved on. How could my good friend not want me to succeed? The thought always baffled me. Until about an hour ago when I got a taste of it for myself.
It’s funny when I make jokes about failing. It’s okay when I fail alongside her. But apparently it’s not okay when I pick myself up, succeed, and then succeed better than her. Incredibly, she actually gets pissed at ME. Somehow, my success is my fault and her failure is my fault.
But if she were succeeding alongside me of course there would be no problem at all.
Instead, she’s wasting her time being hostile and harboring resentment at me for a success that has nothing to do with her. I was the one who found 10,000 ways to do it wrong. I was the one who finally found the 1 way to do it right. I busted my ass for all 10,001 ways.
I chose not to get pissed at the people who succeeded before me. Instead I learned from them.
I chose not to harbor negative energy because, ultimately, the only person it would affect would be me and my performance. Instead I focused my time and energy into perfecting my work and fixing my mistakes.
They want to see you succeed, but some people just don’t want to see you succeed better than them.