Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Epicenter

Last night, one of my oldest friends and I hashed through a specific set of memories that neither of us had really revisited in a very long time. I don't usually condone drudging up the past, but for us, it became a cathartic moment of profound self rediscovery. The type of thing that can happen after years of growing up.
I suppose the reason it was all so profound was my realization that the memory cluster we were un-knotting happened to fall exactly 11 years from the moment we were talking last night.  What is it about putting a time stamp on something that widens our eyes and our narrows our perspective?
The specific memory we were allowing to resurface isn't really important to define here, but it had to do with the implosion of a friendship. What's important is the reminder that in this life, we have these moments where we behave less-than-admirably and our actions aren't exactly noble. We have moments where the support system we've built for ourselves collapses and we are forced to confront the reality of the naivety of youth. We have these moments where our lives feel like they're in shambles, when in reality, it's just that the space in the metaphorical room was not big enough to accommodate the growth that life naturally brings to us. 
What I learned last night as I was literally searching for words was something about the resilience of people and the breakable quality of relationships. We bounce back. After time, we are even able to Oprah our experience into a neat little package of personal growth, tied up with a little bow of profound self-discovery. 
I turned 29 last week and that doesn't scare me in the slightest. I don't fear the number that comes after that either. Though, like I do during every birthday, New Years and Christmas, I reflect on the years that have passed and what I've learned. Last night was a poignant reminder of how relationships can deepen over time and become even more meaningful than when they were "your everything" in high school. And no matter the state of what transpired in that ever-so-strange memory cluster I've been sifting through, I know there's value in the epicenter. There's value in the singular moment that changes every moment that follows. Did you ever see/read The Butter Battle Book? Its this Dr. Suess book that's not as famous as cat's hats or elephants with hearing issues, but it's more profound than most of his other books. At the end, each side of this warring area are holding a tiny spec of what is not-so-cleverly disguised as an atomic bomb reference. Its a tiny spec but when it goes off, it will change everything. There's value in that.
What I've seen this week is a reassessment of the epicenter. I've been thinking about it over the past week and it's made me think deeper about the events in my life that might be the epicenter of something great.

Friday, June 22, 2012


The bullying thing hit a new low this week as an elderly woman was harassed to the point of tears on a bus in upstate New York. I'm sure you've seen the video. It's horrible. The worst form of young humanity represented for all the world to see.
People have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars so this woman can take a much needed vacation and the school has said that the boys will be punished, but ultimately, what has really just blown my mind in this whole thing is this woman herself. Karen Klein deserves some sort of a medal. I couldn't even make it through the first three minutes of this video of her being harassed. She put up with it every day? How?
And maybe this is where I leave my Christianity at the door, but those boys deserved to have their faces kicked in. I would not have put up with that. Not even once. It would have been a Mean Girls moment - I would have turned into a human-panther, pounced and not stopped beating their faces in until they were unable to speak for themselves.
I feel the need to say here - violence is never the answer...unless you're writing a screenplay.

Then, of course, there are the residual idiots from this story. Rather than being horrified by the fact that they are raising hyenas for sons, the father of one of the boys, who is 13-years-old and fully aware of the decisions he is making to call this nice woman these profane things says, "My family’s received death threats. He’s a 13-year-old kid. It was a stupid mistake and he’s paying for it but I just think it’s a little out of control."
Is it? IS IT?

Moral of this story: Don't have children. Violence is never the answer. I will pounce on you.