I was thinking about all the important milestones in my life, and it dawned on me that while those were extremely important to me, others could care less. Isn’t that the way life goes, though? When a child is born, everyone is happy about it, but the new parents are the ones whose new life impacts directly. The excitement wears down, and life goes on. It’s the same thing with getting married or graduating from school. Those moments are critical to the person it directly affects, but how do we measure those moments in our lives? The truth is that there is no undeniable way to measure those moments in time. We are all shaped by events in our lives that mold us into who we are and who we become, but to measure them in meters, liters, etc., would be statistically impossible.
If you were to ask me, “Chris, what’s the most significant moment that you’ve ever experienced?” I couldn’t tell you. Many instances in my life showed me the better and worse circumstances, depending on which end of the spectrum you may believe. Graduating from private school gave me a reason to celebrate because I was leaving one end of the bullying world and entering a separate paradigm. My first two years of college taught me more about life than any lesson in a textbook. Survival skills in a world I didn’t comprehend became a nightmare. Yet, it taught me lessons more valuable than gold.
My wedding day was something out of a storybook until the ceremony was over and the events from hell took place afterward. But do I regret that marriage? No. Because the marriage made me grow up. I had to learn my worth as a person and stand up for myself and what I believed. When we conform to what we think others want, we cannot measure who we are or what is important to us. My problem was I was not particularly eager to fight. I was married to someone who was like Jekyll and Hyde. I never knew what or who I was dealing with, and living with him was challenging. I’m sure he would say the same about me, and I couldn’t blame him. The love I had for him was dying, and I can’t begin to measure when the death of our marriage started, but if you look at our wedding album, the light started dimming the first week of marriage. I knew I should never have married him, but I went through with it like the wallflower I’d become. Little did I realize that the death of my child and marriage would instill a life I never dreamed possible.
Reconnecting with friends from the past has healed me beyond measure. They have brought challenges and stability into my life, along with some common-sense approaches that I had forgotten. When my friend Darla decided to return to school to get her degree, she inspired me to do the same. We’ve pushed each other through some of the most intense lessons that life could throw our way and learned to lean on each other when others don’t understand. Her friendship, along with several others, is immeasurable in my life. When I knew that she and my ex-husband had hooked up when he was still with me, I did the only thing I could do. I hugged her. She was shocked that I didn’t go off on her or try to deck her. The thing was that when it happened, she was sixteen. My ex was in his twenties, but she was still a kid. He didn’t have that excuse.
I guess we can’t measure things like this because if we counted instances in our life, we’d have to put a lid on growth opportunities. Maybe that’s why unconditional love is labeled the way it is. Measurements and unconditional are the polar opposite of each other, and that’s one reason we need both to thrive. When we try to make sense out of the unexplainable, sometimes the answers aren’t crystal clear. What’s important is that we stay open to all sides. Choosing only one side of an issue can be limiting. We still can’t measure what things mean because we only work with a few ingredients when we restrict ourselves.
Thank God I fell for a man who challenges me on every level. He has more integrity and grit than any other man I’ve ever loved. He is infuriating, intelligent, handsome, and one of the most stubborn men I’ve ever had the privilege of encountering. God knows why I feel what I do for him, but I can’t measure my feelings for him because he still makes me nervous when I see him; I get butterflies fluttering in my heart every time he’s around me, and he makes me feel alive. That’s something I would never try to measure. I can’t compare him to anyone else because that would be like comparing oranges to grapes. They are both fruits, but one is a bigger man than the other. At least the oranges not only taste better, but once you get inside the fruit, the oranges are a little sweeter.
What’s interesting is that I don’t have to be with him to feel complete. I can be an individual who is comfortable in her skin, and I don’t have to measure my emotions because there is so much more to life. He may have my heart, but I don’t have to change who I am to be with him. Someday I may talk more about him, but no matter what life throws at me, nothing changes the fact that seeing him smile melts my soul. He has taught me more about unconditional love than anyone else, and I cherish him. Please make no mistake; he isn’t perfect, but he makes me appreciate his flaws and all. His sarcasm and wit challenge mine, and I can attest that both of us are sports fiends. We have had significant health issues over the last decade, and we are both getting our lives back. Yet, I can’t measure the moments I’ve experienced with and because of him.
When I hear people talk about their lives, you can’t measure their success in a cup. Sure, some folks have an extensive resume and bullet points that can break down their lives, but to measure what they mean to others is theoretically impossible. The bottom line is that we all have those moments in life that are immeasurable. But the best part of that is those moments give us the added layers to our soul and spirit. They help us fight when times are difficult and allow us to care when we need to have a layer of softness to different circumstances. When you think of what others mean to you, recognize that there is no amount of measuring that can give you certifiable answers as to how you feel. What may be true one moment of the day could change, they could infuriate you so much that even though you care, you don’t want them to be an integral part of your life. I’ve had that happen in friendships and relationships. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s part of the growing pains that life throws our way. Embrace each day by cherishing the memorable moments. You might not be able to measure them, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is you recognize some things are unconditional and that makes them powerful. Have a great day, everyone.