My coworker once approached me with a life-changing question, “What’s the most memorable thing you’ve ever done?”
Unsure of the answer, I replied with a look of confusion. Unconsciously, I began to sift through an old archive of mental memories, struggling to pull up a single event I could proudly offer as my response. Surely, the time I led my friends on a spontaneous cliff climb in Thailand could be classified as “memorable.” Or maybe, the trip to the mental institution I took while studying digital photography in Italy.
But “most memorable?” I’m not sure. And maybe that’s proof enough that I haven’t yet experienced that defining moment.
People always tell me that I have my whole life ahead of me. My older sister, who still sighs at the very mention of her age (she’s 25), thinks I’m a fountain of youth. When I struggled to find a job, she told me I worried too much. I worry she’s right.
But to the preschoolers I teach, 22 is old; it’s mature. It gives me the authoritative power to give them “time-out’s” and yell at them however and whenever I find it necessary. To the 16-year-old who replied, “Whoa,” when I told her my age, I’m ancient. After all, 22 years is a significant period of time: it’s two 11-year olds, it’s one ten-year marriage followed by an 12-year divorce. It’s two entire decades and then some.
I’ve lived through nearly a quarter of my life at the age of 22. Although, this number doesn’t seem too weighty in the “grand scheme of things”, it’s certainly long enough for something “grand” to happen. Yet, I cannot offer a single, incredible, breathtaking, awe-inspiring experience that certifiably takes the cake for the “most awesome moment.” In fact, I’m still in constant search of it.
I think everyone needs at least one such memory during his or her lifetime. If you’re lucky, maybe two – but somehow, a simple cliff climb just doesn’t seem to do my life justice.