This is me, you hot, steamy, world. There is nowhere I’d rather be. When watching a superhero movie makes you say things like how grateful you were that you were born in this century, when the stories in people’s minds become as close to reality in other people’s minds—this, to me, is magic at its finest.
Even the heat tells me I’m alive. There are days I hate it, when I’m wearing something remotely nice, the thought of sweating through it is added stress, but I’d really rather a burning heat than a numbing cold. This is where all the craziness happens, sons—the fires, both real and imagined, the chemical reactions, percolating, stirring, bleeding, limbo-rocking.
I’ve lived through all my alternative realities and have come to the realization of how futile the exercise is—that the thing that makes us divine is the thing that makes us as close to animals as we could ever be: our bodies, the ultimate transceiver, is meat and bones and synapses and stars. The remembrance is always different, because the present is always unique.
Meaning: I could be imagining my life as a youngish mom with five kids and a dog, or as a world-renown author with published books travelling the world, signing books, or as a specialist of some sort—someone important, with back-to-back conferences and interviews and life-changing engagements.
But then who would be insane enough to be doing the stuff I’m doing now? I create stories wherever I could, in the most exciting of places and weirdest of places, and I’ve traveled to places I never thought I’d love. I’ve climbed a mountain on a whim, did things to excess, and lost sleep over stringing together the perfect words.
We’re all living charmed lives if we think really hard about it. Never before has there been opportunities like this generation has. While we can choose to look at climate change and in the income gaps and the harsher truths of the world, the truth is we are, by many measures, lucky, to even have the kinds of choices we grapple with everyday.
And so this body, this not-too-old but not-too-young body, can be made immortal through the things we decide to do today. In the end life is full of meaning precisely because nothing has any absolute meaning. Because if someone told you today that you will be measured by something arbitrary like your salary, your years in school, the number of people you’re really, truly friends with (and it should be exact, like seventy-three), even something morally pleasing like the number of hours you spent helping people, I guarantee you that life will lose all fun.
It’s the fact that you, and nobody else, gets to call the shots.