I saw her father’s name and phone number on the caller ID at my parents house. I was 17 years old. I can still remember coming home from a family vacation and seeing the number on my machine. My heart beat fast. I loved her before we even went on our first date. And then we went on our first date and loved her even more.

It was summer in the Midwest. She wore a dress. Her legs were tan, and we sat together in the hole of some caterpillar seat thing in the middle of a playground at my old grade school. I touched her leg. We held hands. She rubbed her thumb up and down against mine. It was the best feeling in the world. You know that feeling. The one where your body feels all the things your heart hopes for. It was an innocent love. She’s married and happy and living in Colorado with a beautiful family. I am happy for her.

A few days ago, I talked to a good friend of mine who lives out west.

For the past year, she tried everything she could to get pregnant, without luck. Operations, procedures, everything.

A few days after the doctor told her that the attempts to get pregnant didn’t work, her husband walked up her:

“I want a divorce, he told her. I’m not in love with you anymore.”

She’s sad and angry and feels betrayed. She cried on our call and told me she had a nervous breakdown last week. I’m sad she’s hurt.

For 35 years, I ate animal products multiple times a day. Then one day, I went to an animal sanctuary called Goatlandia and felt a deep connection to a group of loving and kind goats. The next day, I stopped eating animals completely. That was 17 months ago. I am sorry I was responsible for the pain and suffering of hundreds of animals. I’m trying to do better now.

Then there is my aunt, one of my favorite people in the world. She married the love of her life. He was a good man who worked hard and loved his family. He was mowing the grass one day, and died. Heart attack. Gone. After 20 years of marriage.

We’ve heard it a million times. Change is the only constant — Cliche as it is true.

I don’t know much.

I am a seeker, an explorer, a curious person with a lot of love to share. And the more I explore and seek answers, the more I feel lost with more questions.

I fell in love when I was 17 with someone who made me feel alive and romantic. I connected with a goat who made me feel selfish and ready to do better. I listened to my good friend have a nervous breakdown on the phone. I watched my aunt suffer what seems like inexplicable cruelty.

But I fell in love again. And it’s even deeper and more pure than I thought possible.

I no longer put pain on my plate. And I feel immense internal peace.

I hope my friend finds a soulmate. So she can recognize her true worth.

My aunt’s love is no longer with her, but now she provides a safe home for her mother.

Today’s moments are tomorrow’s memories.

But I just know that when you feel it. That thumb rubbing yours, that burning in your soul when you know something is about to shift in your life, or that loss in your gut that scares you.

That in this moment,

for right now,

it is.

Until it isn’t.

So while it is,

Taste it.
Love it.
Try it.
Risk it.
Protect it.
Live it.
Appreciate it.

Because one day, maybe soon, maybe far…

That thing that is,

Isn’t.

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