There’s a day during the fall season when the leaves are at their most vibrant—their peak. I drive a daily commute through mountains and valleys. The breeze scatters rusts and auburns and mustards across the winding road. And just before a bend or hill, there’s a view so spectacular—colors so rich against the azure of sky, the still green pastures and the soulful purples of distant ranges. I take a walk and relish in how even decay can be beautiful, too. I ask myself, was today that day? I can’t be sure. Tomorrow will only tell.
It’s amazing the details that hold weight in a day and how many get overlooked. Can we truly pinpoint an exact or particular moment, and predict how significant that experience will be for us in the future? And if we blink and miss that moment, did it not still occur regardless of whether we were paying attention?
When I experience change, I tend to look back in retrospect and think about all the learning I’ve done thus far. I think about all those days and details that have added up over time. I know I can’t remember it all, but I have this drive inside that wants to account for the sum of all I am—to gather up all those details I didn’t get a chance to record, the things that have gone unexpressed or nearly forgotten. And even with new experiences and information coming at me every millisecond I’m alive (begging to be processed in that instant), I am also endlessly sorting through a backlog of history to understand what being a self-aware person really means to me.