March 22 and the Butterfly Effect
I had a little bit of an existential crisis today, and I thought I’d share my findings/thoughts as I haven’t written in a few months, because they're actually really incredible.
I opened Timehop today (which, let's be honest, is a poor decision 87% of the time) and saw this photo from four years ago. I remember that photo, that moment and that night so clearly that it's impossible to believe that this was almost half a decade ago. It’s a photo I’ve looked on fondly since that day, but today, it set off a wave of emotions.
On March 22, 2013, the path of my life would be forever altered, and 18-year-old Em would have no idea that it was happening.
I was 18, and Elise and I were sitting in Collins Dorm Room 322 having a quick debate over whether or not I would join her out two-stepping with a few of our friends. The gist of the conversation was that I said “no” and she said “you have no choice”.
So that evening, I begrudgingly walked into Wild West in Waco, TX and was introduced to a boy.
That boy went on to become the first person I really fell in love with (to date). And said boy was the trigger that completely changed my life.
This isn’t about that boy. It’s about me and who I am and the choices I made after meeting him.
That boy broke my heart, which led to a sense of wildness and rebellion.
That rebellion led to a deep pit in my heart, which caused poor decisions and monumental life experiences.
Those experiences led to a desire to document them permanently, which led to (quite) a few tattoos and piercings.
The tattoos and piercings led to confidence and extroversion, which have become integral parts of who I am.
That confidence to the decision to branch out and start over, giving me the majority of my writing content and understanding of the way the human mind and empathy work.
The desire to start over led me to get my wild, energetic amazing mutt of a best friend/roommate.
The desire to write gave me the idea for a viral article that reached .01% of the entire world’s population.
That viral article was a major component in my interviews, leading me to my job in Austin, where I was unafraid to move because of a newfound sense of adventure.
This job in Austin brought me art, music, adventure, joy and the greatest family of friends that I ever could have imagined.
I drove past downtown today, marveling at the beauty of my city: my home. And in that moment, I realized that a two minute conversation four years ago led me down this road (literally and figuratively.)
There are so many more people and places and choices that connect because of this story, and I’m more than happy to explain them if you wish to hear the full story, but for the sake of time, I’ll give you three quick takeaways.
Your choices matter. Your decisions, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, might change your life one day. So be careful, but be careless, because your life could become beautiful through one simple moment.
You’re going to be okay. Even through the pain of life and even through your mistakes, there is a moon in the night reflecting the daylight that will eventually break.
Never, ever apologize or regret who you've love(d). Failed relationships and friendships should never negate the love you had or felt, because through that love, you became who you are.
As always, much love.