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There are certain inescapable,life-altering, life-defining moments in our lives. Some of them creep up slowly on us - we can see them coming. We spend weeks, even months, worrying about them, preparing for them. Other moments happen so quickly, you barely have time to breathe. One moment you're there, living your life, just as you've always have, and the next you're knocked on your ass with the realization that your life will never again be exactly as it was. I could sit here and argue that our lives, stagnant as they may seem, are always in motion... that every moment changes you in some miniscule way, and that the culmination of these moments is how we learn, grow, change. But that's neither here nor there. I'm talking about big, scary, "holy shit I just jumped off a cliff" moments. Sink or Swim. Moments were you can actually feel "fight or flight" kick in. Most people, by the time they've reached a certain age of young adulthood, have had at least one of these moments in varying degrees, and some of us, more than our share.

What's funny to me is that in the truly blindsiding experiences, it seems almost impossible to pinpoint exactly what you were thinking about just before. You may know where you were, you may even know what you were doing, but try as you might – those last moments of deliberate, leisurely thought have vanished. I tend to think that it's because we never pay attention to the notion that most of what we think about isdeliberate - until, of course, we lose that capability for independent thought. We don't realize how precious that particular freedom is until our brains are assaulted by the kind of thoughts we cannot "turn off". Overwhelming, maddeningly persistent thoughts, thoughts that can run away with our imaginations to the point of absurdity, thoughts that we are not consciously choosing to think.

I suppose in that way, it's just another example of "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone". We cannot remember our idle, "before" thoughts because we did not appreciate them. Just as our first deliberate thoughts after will likely be lost to us too. One day you just up and realize that you are thinking in a clear, linear manner about something you want to be thinking about. Moreover, you appear to have been thinking about it for quite some time. That moment might be a marker – something you will keep in your memory, but try as you might to trace back to the first independent thought, and you might as well be searching for your first conscious thought ever. It's lost forever - somewhere in that 90% of our brains we can't figure out how to use.

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Comments

( 4 spankings — spank your inner moppet )
theatricmisery
Oct. 26th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC)
This entry is exactly how I feel right now.
brainwavy
Oct. 30th, 2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
aw,
i'm sorry for that... although it doesn't surprise me. i still check up on you to see what you're up to every now & then - you remind me a lot of me at your age, and reading your lj is sometimes like a portal back to my own college years. Anyways, I hope your world hasn't been too irrevocably rocked, i think the trick is to hold on to what we can, regroup, and maybe try not to live live as if the next life bomb may hit at any moment... probably easier said than done, but does it at least sound like a relatively solid plan?
(Anonymous)
Nov. 8th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
Life-altering and life-defining? Blindsiding? Losing capability for independent thought? Wow, I didn't know I was THAT good!

;)
brainwavy
Nov. 8th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
hi mike :P

typical. always assuming a boy is the root of my troubles...
( 4 spankings — spank your inner moppet )