My theory is about moments, moments of impact. My theory is that these moments of impact, these flashes of high intensity that completely turn our lives upside down, actually end up defining who we are. The thing is, each one of us is the sum total of every moment that we’ve ever experienced with all the people we’ve ever known. And it’s these moments that become our history. Like our own personal greatest hits of memories that we play and replay in our minds over and over again.” – The Vow
If you’ve watched The Vow before, you probably found that quote familiar. That’s because the whole movie’s centred around this idea called “moments of impact” — unforeseen moments that change one’s life unknowingly. Moments that result from ‘colliding’ with other people’s lives, from two separate paths converging for one reason or another. Sometimes these paths stay crossed for a long time; other times only for a short while. But they did cross, once. Nothing can change that fact.
When you think about the people who’ve stayed in your life for only a short time, or those who’ve been present for a long while but have since then left, it’s easy to wonder: Why did it happen? What was the point? What was the point of investing so much time in a friendship/relationship that was never going to last? Why couldn’t God just spare you from having to meet that person if it was only going to wind up like this in the end?
Because that’s how life works. People come, people go. But even if they’re no longer present in your life, you know deep down that they’ve impacted you in a way that can’t be undone. You are who you are because, at one point in time, your path collided with theirs. And although your paths have since then diverged, your shared memories can never be erased.
Nothing is pointless. Even the most insignificant detours in life can have the most meaning. The most fleeting encounters can change us for good. So never regret the “collisions” in your life — because as one person says, “Some people aren’t meant to be in our lives forever. Some are just passing through to to teach us a lesson.“
Be grateful. The past is what it is. It’s played a part in shaping who you are, who you will become. Even the worst experiences can make you stronger.
Be present. Stop regretting the past. Stop worrying about the future. Be fully present with whoever you find yourself with now. Because you can’t predict how things will pan out — whether that person will be there forever or be gone tomorrow — but it’s always worth the risk. Because these collisions, these “moments of impact,” make life that much more meaningful.
They are meant to happen.
A moment of impact has potential for change—it has ripple effects far beyond what we could predict. Sending some particles crashing together, making them closer than before, while sending others spinning off into great adventures, landing where you’d never thought you’d find them. You see, that’s the thing about moments like these: you can’t, no matter how hard you try, control how they’re going to affect you. You just got to let the colliding particles land where they may, and wait until the next collision.” – The Vow