Breaking Out of Generalizations

The details. The nuance. It’s all in those tiny little delicate threads of connection, almost invisible, forming the brilliant spider web of our existence. All we are are moments. All we are are detail and nuance, and that tiny centimeter of alignment that is the difference between first place and a fractured femur bone. Yet we view our lives in generalizations – the big symphonies and the drama. The marathon and not the stride.

Every day, we are living our lives skating on the edge, we just don’t realize it unless we lose our footing. Every day, we have the smallest decisions to make and the teeniest lilt in our voice that determines our next move. It even permeates our relationships: a discovery awaits around every corner and a detail is added to your life with every hello. Yet when we view other people’s lives from the outside, we tend to process it all in the big moments. We see benchmarks and turning points and standing ovations that seem to define their lives. We fail to recognize the little idiosyncrasies and hairline fractures.

Why is it we have desensitized ourselves to nuance?

I am not saying that the big moments don’t have importance or their place. But have you ever noticed they do not come out of nowhere? Waiting and waiting and waiting for a big moment and nothing arrives? That’s because the big moments are simply a culmination -Cliff’s Notes, if you will – of all the chaptered details of your life. Details. It’s all we are.

So many times we debate as to how much of our life is in our control and how much is just the way it is. My take on it is that we have no control over circumstance – however, we have control over our level of awareness. If we keep living in a haze if generalities, in the flood and the rainstorm, we’ll miss the raindrops. We’ll miss the way our car can skip a trip to the car wash, we’ll miss the snowflake’s shape, we’ll miss the way the pavement glows and the way a kiss can change the world. We’ll look down at our cup, and we’ll find it empty.

I do not always remember big things, but the microcosms of small details within them. And now in these last few years, I feel like my entire life has been a string of minute details. I remember each small second and it engulfs me like a warm blanket. I remember each thought and decision and tiny little pathway. And, not surprisingly, this is the first time in my life I have felt truly vibrant and whole. I’m being introduced to myself in a way I’ve never known.

That edge we are skating over is always there. We can either notice and actively jump or stay oblivious and tumble off the ledge.

To live your life with a dependency on the big moments is a waste. You are so much more. Bring awareness to the detail and the nuance, the small spider web threads and the way they glisten in the rain. It’s what makes us come alive.

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