Changed Forever

“And then my life was changed forever.”

The words dangle in the air, ready to fall into anyone’s mind that might be listening.  But no one really is because we’ve heard it all before.  We’ve heard the tragic childhood stories and inspirational climbs to success that inevitably climax at some event and causes one to utter that they were “changed forever”.

There is nothing wrong with this, I just feel like the forever part really isn’t necessary.

What change isn’t forever?

How can anything return completely to its original state after it has been changed?  You can replicate the setting, circumstances–and if you are lucky–the people that surrounded you.  Yet as time moves on, life moves on, and you have been changed.  Permanently.  No matter what you do to return external circumstances, you can never fully revert your mind to where it has once been.  There are new ideas, thoughts, and experiences in your mind and your life will be inherently different because of that.

The smallest event can completely change your perspective on life.  The life that I face right now is somehow different than the life I faced a week ago.  Not because I had a momentous epiphany or a soul-bending experience, but simply because a week has passed and I now have a week’s worth of thoughts and experiences that have ingrained themselves into my brain and become a part of its permanent collection, whether I am aware of it or not.

This is not to say that we are simply helpless pawns in the face of destiny.  Every small detail of life changes you somehow, whether it is a glimpse of pure beauty or a snippet of a strangers conversation.  Yet we have some decisions to make.  We can allow a hurtful remark to embitter us or enjoy the freedom that giving the benefit of the doubt gives back to us.  We can listen to the wind rushing aimlessly or scowl as we pick up the papers it scattered.

Don’t wait for the events that society has labeled as milestones to realize that you have been changed forever.

You are forever changing.

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