On average, an individual’s life spans about 78 years.
That is 28,074 days of beating hearts, pulsating veins, inhalations and brain work.
That’s 40,996,800 precious minutes to keep for ourselves.
Take just one second to fathom the number of massive changes and transitions that a singular body goes through in one life span, one year—even one day. From one moment to another our cells die, reform, duplicate. In seconds a new life can be generated, and nine months later pass through the womb of a woman and begin its complicated process of constant mutation.
Instantaneously, our bodies and organs can reject us, fail, shut down.
The heart that diligently beats over 100 times per minute will slow and eventually stop. The thump we once felt through the walls of our chest will be no longer, and silence will solemnly take its place.
We are molded not only by our biology and genetics, the gifts handed down from our parents, but also by the constant growth and development of our surroundings. From day one we are like adhesive tape, rolling around, seeking input, learning from our relationships, each building a unique emotional platform from which we view the world.
As the world sticks to us, we bring along all we have seen, heard and learned.
We are each the summation of a lifetime of moments sculpting the human inevitably created.
To remain stagnant from one day to the next would mean certain death.
Our senses take in everything with constant curiosity: every word and musical note; the distinguished difference between salty and sweet; the feelings of soft and tender, hot and cold. By seeing and smelling, tasting, hearing and touching, we are constantly learning what we like, what we don’t, what our body needs and what it does not.
By living and learning, our brains and our hearts decide who we love, what we enjoy, who we wish to become and what we will one day decide to do with our lives.
We form values and morals, rules to live by.
Mistakes are made, some temporary and some that will last a lifetime.
Memories are created.
One day we feel pain, but with the next can come irreplaceable feelings of elation.
Scars mark us, love engulfs us. Each and every day we endure the ebb and flow of life. And the beautiful thing about all of these life-altering changes is that they never stop.
When I was five, I believed in Santa; now, I do not.
When I was seven I thought my mom was perfect; then I learned she never was.
When I was 10 I wanted to be a veterinarian; today I am a strength and conditioning coach.
When I was 16 years old, I was hit by a car and nearly died. My eyes opened wider than they ever had before. It motivated me to do everything I could with my second chance at life.
Once I was failing high school; now, I am now a college graduate with honors.
When I was 20, my grandmother was working, living, thriving; then I was 21, and she was gone forever. One day I was looking her in the eye, the next I was praying for her soul in heaven.
At 24, I married the love of my life, then was diagnosed with OCD a year later.
At 26, I was an emotional wreck. Now I’m 27. I have lived through so much, have witnessed the processes of many years, while in reality I know almost nothing, since in the grand scheme of things I have only lived a little.
I am not the person I was when I was four, or 12 or even 26. Life keeps moving, time keeps ticking and with each moment that travels forward, we move along with it.
Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. How could she ever be the same person she was just 120 seconds prior to those vicious and stunting words. Every minute, 250 beautiful, innocent souls enter this world, and 105 leave it forever. The effects of each and every one of these events transmitted around the universe like an earthquake shaking the world with its force.
You cannot tell me that you are today who you were yesterday. You cannot tell me that I am either.
If we do not flow with the tides of change, if we do not modify our lives to match the maturation of each other, we will lose sight of who we are, and leave behind those we love.
It takes one second for a life to change forever—imagine what can happen in 78 years worth of them.
Author: Rebecca Conroy
Image: Josh Felise/Unsplash
Editor: Renée Picard / Apprentice Editor: Josette Myers