Everything we know about the world came from humans. Every piece of art, every discovery, every instrument, every song, every artifact, every book, every poem, every story came from people. We create society, we interpret meaning, we advance science, we unearth history, and we share knowledge. It is the impact of millions – no, billions – of humans that have led us where we are today. The joining of our ancestors and the actions they took, or didn’t take, led to us, here, now.
I am a small, yet infinite, piece in the puzzle of the universe. In a way, I am the puzzle, the maze, the terrain. I play a role in this physical world that has ripple effects on the rest of the pieces beside me. I belong in a tapestry much larger than me, and I seek to partake in the story of my life. A story written in my veins, lived and experienced through my eyes, through my body.
I write because I have to, because I want to, because I can. I write to tell the stories that the world has yet been told. I write to feel connection, to stay connected, to engage. I write to fill the void, to be the light, to heal old wounds. I write to speak the truth, to encourage growth, to spread knowledge. I write to make my mark, to say, “I am here.”
I write to make an impact, however small or large that be. I write so others can, so others do, so others will. I write knowing I’m one step closer to where I’m going. I write now because one day, I won’t write no more.
Never have I felt closer to my own mortality. The daily threat of an invisible virus, seen only through the lens of the most powerful microscopes, has me confronting my very existence. I know I’m hardly alone. The consequences of my ancestors’ meetings, the thousands of storylines that led to me, where I am, and when I am has me reeling in gratitude, awe, and wonder. I want to be who I am and have it resonate with people. Writing is a vessel through which I exist.
My actions have consequences, and I want those to matter. The structures I’ve built, the systems I developed, the solutions I’ve proposed, the projects I implemented, the meetings I spoke in, the notes I’ve typed, the data I processed, the proposals I submitted, the interactions I coordinated, facilitated, and planned: those mattered too in a time before Covid and in a time in its first year.
In today’s continued threat, I now want to engage differently with the world. There is much the world needs, and the items listed above are not it – at least not from me, from my present-day self. I have a new mission requiring courage. The courage to be me in my most raw, authentic self. I am shedding the layers that society placed onto me, demanded of me, and took from me. Simply being who I am while showing myself what I can do: that is the path I am on, taking steps bravely into this new world.