There are moments when you realize that, in the grand scheme of things, you are quite insignificant. I feel insignificant. It’s not to say I’m incapable of being significant; it’s to say that I often feel insignificant.
Yet, so insignificant.
When I began writing, my goal was to use my writing to fund charity work, to use my God-given talent to make a difference in this world, to leave a mark, to leave it a little better than when I arrived. I was young, ambitious, wide-eyed and hopeful. Despite all I’d endured in life, I still had hope.
These days, it feels like I’m fighting a losing battle.
There are days where I am frozen in place, staring at my children with a helpless ache in my chest.
How do you help a world that doesn’t want to help itself?
Most of us – myself included – have the ability to do more, to be more.
Yet we aren’t. Yet we don’t.
And today I realized why.
I am so afraid of losing all I have, but, the hard truth is, we all lose it eventually.
I am so afraid of my children losing their stability, but, the hard truth is, they’ve already lost it.
My life has been ever-changing these last few months. One change after another has been happening, has been forced upon us, which has planted this seed in me, which has shaken me to the core and filled me with a new need, with a new desire that runs soul deep. It has me thinking of doing something drastic. It has me fired up and ready to do what I’ve been so afraid to do: to take a major leap of faith.
If there is anything I am overtly aware of these days, it is that: life is almost always shorter than we expect it to be. My mother died at 27. My father died at 30. My grandfather died at 55. My children’s grandmother died at 57. Marilyn Monroe died at 36. James Dean died at 24. Elvis Presley died at 42. Today, Joanne Borgella died at 32.
Whether I have a few years remaining or half a century remaining, I will truly be insignificant if I don’t take risks, if I don’t make the most of every breath, if I don’t do what I set out to do originally, if I don’t fulfill my purpose. Writing was always meant to be the means. Art was always meant to be the expression. Giving was always what fulfilled me; doing was always what fulfilled me. We never gain by being selfish, and we never lose by giving it all we have.
We weren’t given eyes to see and not appreciate.
We weren’t given ears to hear and not listen.
We weren’t given a voice to speak and not advocate.
We weren’t given limbs to move and not do.
We weren’t given talents to possess and not use.
To this day, Gandhi said it best:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Am I narcissistic enough to believe that I alone can change my children’s lives, and the lives of their future generations? No. Am I narcissistic enough to believe that I can have a significant impact on the world at large and end some world problem? No.
To the world I am insignificant, but to one person, I can be significant.
To the world, I probably always will be insignificant, but to a community, I could be significant.
It’s all about what we choose to do versus what we choose not to do (in fear). We all have the choice to act or to watch other people act. It’s always been a choice, and it always will be.
What I’ve learned over the past few months is that we will always be lacking something. There are some things you can survive without, and some things you can’t. I can survive with a lot less than I realized…and I don’t miss it. I do feel like I will miss my window, miss my opportunity if I don’t take some hard leaps of faith right now, though.
So, I’m going for it. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I’m ready.
I’m ready to stop being insignificant.