I probably think about The Sound of Thunder more often than most.
Or Sliding Doors. Well not really the movie – because it was terrible – but the concept certainly pops into my thoughts again and again. I have always loved the idea that if we turn left down the street instead of right, or if we miss our train by a few seconds or step on a butterfly… that our whole universe changes instantly. That our future hangs by a choose-your-own adventure piece of silly string. The chaos of this theory thrills and exhausts me often.
But once again, Multiple Sclerosis has shifted my perception a perfect 180. This disease forces me out of my head and into the world around me. I used to think it was fascinating how the tiniest decision would alter my future. Now I think about all of the fractional moments that have led me to the present.
There was the time I was 33; recently divorced and disillusioned about my career and purpose. Freshly retired from acting and freshly single, a generous friend gave me a place to stay. He is a famous writer but that is not the point. He told me this special place had given him the ability to write. He felt there was something about the home that fueled him creatively. Eventually the house pushed me to write. Eventually, it gave me my voice.
There was the time I was 19 and working behind the front desk of a gym in New York, just minding my own business, reading my book. One particular member came up to me every few days and asked what I was reading. We eventually began exchanging favorites and formed our own private book club for 2. Eventually I found out he is a famous musician but that is not the point. Eventually, one of his book recommendations became the most passionate writing project of my life. Eventually his reading became my inspiration.
There was the time I was 16 and noticed that buzz in my neck… when I was 24 and my mom kept telling me I slept too much and wasn’t a teenager anymore… when I was 27 and my legs kept going totally numb after workouts…when I was 35 and learned that meditation could save my life and sanity… when I was 41 and watched a TED talk with Claire Wineland and realized I need to speak about my disease… the never ending moments connecting me to right now.
A very good friend asked me the other day if I wake up most mornings and think “whoa, I have MS.” I told her it’s the opposite. I used to wake up and think “what is wrong with me?” Now I can just wake up and live.
I bet if I had stepped on the wrong butterfly it would still lead me to this place, right here on September 10th, 2018, writing and reading this blog post and loving every second of it.