There’s a freeing thing about having no momentum: everything was once the same — inert, unenergized.
And when you look back at human history both recent and ancient, every age had its no ones and its celebrities, its misers and its saints.
And at every point of every sort of life, you can find examples of transformations, of folks who finally got the right thought, pulled the right punch, found the right niche, or met the right circumstance to change their life and world forever. It happened at every age, and to any one and with every disadvantage.
Everything started sometime. Some great, culture-changing icon is only beginning middle school this September, while another potentially great life was snuffed out last month, and will never see the opportunities you will a week or a year from now — small chances to shift tracks and snowball things into whatever effect you may well yet have on this planet.
Our expectations can hamstring with anxiety, sure, and our prior history can carve a likely-to-be-followed rut for each of us, yes. But our oddly human propensity for noting the patterns in and around us and changing them, or using them — it is what makes humanity so interesting and unpredictable, particularly at the single-life level.
So take mark of where and who you are, and believe the truth that tomorrow your life starts again, with new chances for nearly everything, and better chances than many have had.
No one really knows the bends and turns ahead. You can go big or go small or go medium, and all of it can have beauty and success and failure and joy and sorrow, because nearly all things do have all those things. So free yourself from the past armed with that.
That, and maybe the more bitter comfort that in the end even the greatest lives amount to not so much. So all you can do is all you can do. There’s no telling, just a shot in the dark. Every day, until you die. The important thing is that you take your shots in the dark if you want them, and remember that in the end, just like every other little speck of a soul’s journey that went before, it’s all going to end up a beautiful wisp of nothing. Only the arc of creation and cosmos will go on, and you will be part of that story no matter what you do.
And that is why you, my inert friend of whatever age, are still free to spring forward and accomplish great things. That is why you, like me, can transform and start, bit by bit, to snowball.