In a habit learned as a kid, I gently tap my boot against the frozen puddle.
It cracks. A little. Dark water creeps up around every edge. A little.
I have other things to do right now. A daily mission. A familial obligation. It doesn’t take me very long. I don’t deserve any credit for it.
But I keep moving.
The wind and snow are in cahoots, trying to find a way inside of my coat.
My foot leaves the puddle, but my mind doesn’t.
Just yesterday the puddle was all… puddle. I stepped around it on this familiar route. I didn’t give it any thought.
The clouds cleared last night. The clouds cleared and the temperature dropped — I could tell because my duvet was up around my ears. The clouds cleared, the temperature dropped, and the puddle changed.
It didn’t decide to change. It had no say. A few things happened and then everything was different.
In one of the least subtle connections my allergy-addled mind has ever made, I thought about how we’re all puddles.
Often in the worst of ways. But that’s not what this post is.
You choose one job over another, maybe because of the commute, and end up falling into your dream career.
You mindlessly follow a link on a blog while procrastinating, and you find an organizational system that helps you make some legit and awesome changes.
You push your ego aside and ask that girl a second time for her number.
And maybe she gives it.
You call and find that thing you had really only been half-heartedly looking for, but so desperately wanted. Despite all your advice to others, the search was beating you down.
One question. Asked twice.
One call. Made without hesitation.
And you get it.
One moment of bravery.
One moment of taking a risk.
One moment of hopefulness.
And you get it.
Those moments are tricky. They resemble so closely the other kind.
The ones that seem to gather up and lead to watching that movie. Alone. Again. In pajama pants long-past needing to be washed. Eating food out of containers.
The ones that accumulate and make you wonder if the good kind even exists. For you.
But here’s the thing:
You’re not smart enough to tell the moments apart.
So you must live them.
My duties fulfilled, I start the return journey.
I stop at the puddle again.
I tap it with my boot.
I tap it in rhythm to a song that fills me.
I bundle up even more.
I head for home.