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Random Chit-Chat > Can one moment change your life?

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message 1: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Youngerman (byoungerman) | 15 comments This morning wrote a post in response to challenge that had to do with an embarrassing moment from childhood. When I had finished writing I realized that first I hadn't even thought about that event for over thirty years, and second I am now questioning myself if that one moment sparked a behavior that now keeps me from attending functions with large crowds.

So as I sit and ponder a disturbing event from my youth I put this out there - do you think that one moment from your past shaped who you are today?

I often times say that I am an observer of life because I never felt like I belonged anywhere. That is still the case today. I don't really 'fit' anywhere so it is easier to watch. By watching I get to make up stories - great way to write fiction. That carries over from my past into my present.

How about you?


message 2: by Clayton (new)

Clayton Bye (claytonbye) | 3 comments Hi Brenda,

Your question is a complicated one, because it can get into that old nature vs nurture thing, as well as how our belief system is built and maintained.

My shortest answer would be "Absolutely."

A more useful answer would be "I am constantly shaped by the events of my life, but there have been single events I can look back on and say--this is where I learned how to love on purpose or this is where I lost my interest in swimming (a near fatal boating accident)."

As far as being a watcher of life, you might be interested in knowing that the great author, Damon Knight, said (this is paraphrased) no one should be allowed to begin writing until the age of forty, because they just don't have enough life experiences to draw on.


message 3: by Isabell (new)

Isabell Vasalus (Hecksithia) | 8 comments I think that there is no one moment but a few moments that really shape who I am now. But I am constantly changing and getting through new moments both good and bad that reshape who I am. And I agree with Clayton that the epigenetic model has a lot to do with who someone becomes. Some things you are born with what you are and other parts of you are because of where you have been.


message 4: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Youngerman (byoungerman) | 15 comments Clayton wrote: "Hi Brenda,

Your question is a complicated one, because it can get into that old nature vs nurture thing, as well as how our belief system is built and maintained.

My shortest answer would be "Ab..."


I really like that quote and I think that is absolutely true! To think that someone should be looked upon as a great writer before they're even twenty is a joke! (Unless of course they're writing fantasy)
But I do agree with you that our belief system is formed based upon experiences, but I guess my question was a bit broader - more to your response about the boating accident.

Thanks for the response!


message 5: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Youngerman (byoungerman) | 15 comments Brenda wrote: "Clayton wrote: "Hi Brenda,

Your question is a complicated one, because it can get into that old nature vs nurture thing, as well as how our belief system is built and maintained.

My shortest ans..."


Isabell wrote: "I think that there is no one moment but a few moments that really shape who I am now. But I am constantly changing and getting through new moments both good and bad that reshape who I am. And I agr..."

Hi Isabell,
But then if I read you correctly you would say that you are still constantly changing? And then would you say that a being is in a constant state of change? That's an interesting way of looking at it I'd never considered before either. I'd rather hoped that by my age (I've just turned 50) my changing days were behind me - not to say that I'm not open to change because I certainly am. But I hope I'm more settled than I was at say 20 or 30.

Thanks for posting!


message 6: by Isabell (new)

Isabell Vasalus (Hecksithia) | 8 comments Brenda,
I definitely believe that we are everchanging and that perhaps as we get older it simply slows down or is less noticeable. If you think about how you were a year ago or just a week ago something has changed about you.


message 7: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Youngerman (byoungerman) | 15 comments Isabell,
That's true. I guess I never thought about it that way - we are everchanging. I guess if we weren't that would be the end - - I'm not the same as I was last week - - things happened that hurt me deeply and I'm more guarded. Strange isn't it?
Actually - - I even incorporated it in the new book!
Thanks!


message 8: by Cara (new)

Cara Lee (caralopezlee) There have been a few incidents that have changed important aspects of how I behave, think, and feel. However, I believe that my core personality is unlikely to ever change... which is kind of comforting. Life would feel very uncertain, and I would seem wishy-washy if my convictions and ideals could be blown down by a small change in the wind. That said, here's one event that changed my life:

One night, when I lived in Alaska, I was in an SUV with the man who was my boyfriend, and we were driving home from celebrating Easter with one of his friends. We were on a dark section of highway, so we never saw it until we were upon it: a moose. One moment we were laughing and talking, and the next the world was crashing glass, spinning car and tipping street and my fleeting thought was, "Am I going to die? How much will it hurt?" My mind answered with a small prayer, a repeat of Oliver Twist's plaintive words, "More please."

The car didn't flip, after all. However, we did a 180, and I saw headlights coming toward us. I didn't think we'd get lucky twice. "Oh my God!" I shouted, and waited to die. The other car would have hit us head-on, if it hadn't first hit the decapitated moose. They still slammed into us, hard. Then everything stopped.

When I stepped out of that car, I thought, "You're alive! Now what are you going to do with the rest of your life?" I realized my life had always been a temporary gift, something I'd forgotten. My boyfriend, like others before him, was an alcoholic who treated me cruelly. He wasn't drinking that night, or I might not be here. However, in that moment, I realized I'd been wasting my gift, by letting him and others treat me with anything less than respect. I vowed never to do that again.

Within a few days, I started going to Alanon (a 12-step support program for people with alcoholics in their lives). As my behavior and expectations changed, my boyfriend couldn't cope with the new me, and we split. I found a boyfriend who treated me with kindness, and married him. We've had our issues, too, but he has always respected me.

All because for one moment I thought I was going to die, and then asked myself a question. Pretty simple. When life gets tough, I still think about that crash sometimes... that all my life since has been extra. It calms me, and I worry less about what's next.


message 9: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Youngerman (byoungerman) | 15 comments Great story and answer...your life did change in one moment! I feel really bad for the moose though.


message 10: by Cara (new)

Cara Lee (caralopezlee) Thanks, Brenda. And I understand what you mean: we felt sorry for the moose, too.


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