Pencils tapped against notepads, ticking down the seconds until the end of class. Minutes that slipped by without much thought. Suddenly those minutes became days, those days became months, and those months became years. Is it true that it’s only the major plot twists that make us who we are? Or is it those one or two lines buried somewhere in the middle of the chapters?
I don’t have much life experience, in truth I’m barely an adult. But I believe it’s the simple words scribbled in-between the chapter headings that make all the difference.
One smile on a day in middle school,
one round of applause on a day in high school,
five painful words spoken once in a Panera,
a text in the middle of the night,
one conversation after a failed English quiz,
or a handwritten letter in a metal box in the wall.
The graduations, the milestones, or the losses are not what define us. Those huge moments, those dramatic twists and turns are the ways we tell time, but it’s the small moments that define how we’ll react. The simple lines on the pages of a our lives, like the ones from your favorite book taped onto a dorm room wall.
I am who I am today because of a handful of cruel looks or that moment when he had roses in his hands and walked right past me. I am who I am today because of flowers sitting on my desk after a long awaited acceptance letter or those tears shed while someone I love grieved.
Those beautiful lines that are stitched together into each and every story aren’t the ones that sell novels. They aren’t what you find written in elegant gold letters across a leather bound copy, not the words that make you pick it up off the shelf. Yet they are the words that are highlighted, circled and erased and underlined again. They are the moments we dog-ear and read out loud to unwilling friends with coffee cups in our hands.
One time I laughed until I couldn’t breathe.
one road trip, one song,
one time a teacher stopped to ask, “How are you really doing?”
one kiss, one goofy look,
one moment of ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘me too.’
A friend texted me a quote today: “You have to be the kind of person who can make the best out of a Tuesday. You know those people who live for the weekends? They’re wishing their life away. You have to find something worth living for or else you’ll look back and realize you’ve wasted your life away.”
As the sun sets earlier and the weather becomes colder, I am fully embracing living for Tuesdays. Living for those moments that I know will shape my view of myself, my loved ones, and the world around me far down the road.
One phone call,
one 3am cry with a dear friend,
that first moment you knew you were seen and understood,
one time you didn’t wait until it was too late to say how you felt.
If there’s one thing I’ve been reminded of this week—as we grieve here at Wheaton College and with the rest of the world—we never know what tomorrow will bring. So live for the Tuesdays. Live for the simple moments that make all the difference.