Life Is Not Linear

The year was 2004. I was in a special kind of hell we’ll refer to as high school. And the flames were extra hot at this particular moment.

My then girlfriend was rushing around her house frantically trying to find her name tag for work. I needed to drop her off at work in 10 minutes, which was fine, except we were roughly 25 minutes away. And being late would also have been fine, except she was on her third “last” warning.

Suddenly, just as despair was setting in, she found the god forsaken name tag. We were out the door, hood sliding our way into my Dad’s 1998 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71. Then, two minutes into the race, she shrieks, “I forgot my f**king phone!”

“Too bad” I recall saying. I was only vaguely aware of the hole her stare was burning into the side of my head.

“Turn the f**k around! I need that phone!”

No way was I going to turn that truck around. She’d be late for work. Besides, why turn around for something as stupid as a phone?

But I did turn around.

And, yes, I did hate it. I still hate it. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night thinking about going back for that phone.

I hate going back—for anything. People, small animals and cell phones included.

But going back doesn’t always mean going backwards. In this case, it was just a phone. But sometimes, going back means revisiting a decision or reverting to what feels like a previous life state.

I think this is especially important for those going through a major life event. A divorce, or leaving their job, or starting over somewhere new.

Because not all decisions feel like progress. Some may even make you feel like the foundation you’ve built is crumbling. But that’s okay. It’s okay to change your mind and go back for the important things.

Because time may be linear, but life is not.