I’m Not Everything

I’m Not Everything

Last night, I laid in Savasana trying to recite the mantra I’ve heard from some yogi or another:

I am nothing. I am everything.

But, as I lay there in my puddle of sweat, listening to the chillout-dubstep meant for not-listening, it occurred to me: am not nothing, and neither am I everything.

I am something.

Sometimes, I’m angry, and that’s something. Other times, I’m judgemental. Sometimes–who am I kidding–often times, I’m afraid that I’m missing out on something. That’s not nothing; that’s not everything.

Everything would have to include all the moments I sit cross-legged on the floor like a kindergartener trying to train my brain. It would have to include my frequent barking-loud laugh, the way I swing a golf club, and evenings when dinner and I wait excitedly for Jesse to get home from choir practice.

But there aren’t enough pages to tell everything. Even if there were, that wouldn’t be the everything.

Include every moment of my existence, every sense perception, feeling, thought, all the seconds that have ticked since I was born into this bright, scary world, and it wouldn’t be a molecule in space compared to everything’s true measurement. My existence is so small there are no English words accurate enough to downsize it properly.



One of ten trillion who will eventually have existed.

But, no matter, I don’t need to be vocabulary-defining. I don’t need to be remembered 10,000 years from now. I don’t even need my fifteen minutes of fame. For one in ten trillion is as equally significant as it is miniscule, with as equal an opportunity to leave a mark as Marcus Aurelius or Ghengis Khan. Perhaps, my mark will be in the arched shape of an amateur golf swing, or in the form of sauteed squash and zucchini, seasoned too spicy. Maybe it will just be the outline of my sweaty body left on the yoga mat, and maybe it will fade just as quickly.

But I do have a story. The only inherent liberty I have is picking up the pencil and choosing to design that story. That’s a daily choice that gives me as likely a chance at happiness as every great achiever, every Steve Jobs and Marie Curie, all who just decided that they would make the choice every day to live by their calling, true to the inner voice that said, Try! Create! Try!

I have problems; liberty is learning to solve them. My story, like every other trillionth in history, will teach my particular path to liberty. Or it won’t if I don’t tell it.

Now, that’s a good word for existence– trillionth. Potentially both a shining star or a molecule in space. Trillionth, the recurrent or the refined, the stand-in or the stand alone. Trillionth, the storyteller of one.

And, by God, that feels like something to me.

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