There are moments in our lives that define. They define who we are, who we will become, where we have been, what our existence was all about. And they are not just one, they are not confined to one moment or one day. They usually occur during memorable or important occasions. The birth of a baby, the death of a parent, a new job, or a family tragedy. Though growth and change are not limited to occurring after something as great as the things mentioned, sometimes, just an action by someone you admired or a harsh word from a colleague may be enough to spawn definition.

I have experienced the death of a parent. It is such a strange thing - so much that you hang on to becomes unimportant in a flash. I have experienced the birth of a child, four times over and each child is completely different, what I share with each is different. It has been awesome to watch them each mature and grow into teenagers and adults. They each impress me so much, what more could a parent want? I have also experienced a miscarriage and the sorrow it brings - defining, to be sure. Something I never thought I would fully experience, as an adult anyway, was my country at war. I just never thought that the world had not evolved past this way of not solving differences or issues. It seems surreal, really, to think that there are guns in young soldiers' arms right now.

I have quit a job I loved at a moment's notice. It was a matter of principle and yet, I was devastated. But that defining, life-changing moment was necessary and one of the best things that could ever have happened to me. With that change, I moved from executive, retained search to in-house, corporate recruitment and the world of business operations opened up to me. I was inspired to alter my major and complete my degree in business; with which I fell completely in love. I have since worked as a contract recruiter, been a search consultant and now, lovingly reside on the vendor side of the recruiting industry, where I have still had the opportunity to manage in-house recruitment.

They are not always moments we wish for, but they are, usually, what we need and most definitely what shape who we are. How we got here is important but isn't who we are when we finally arrive more so? I shudder to think where I would be and what I would be doing had I not had four babies or had I not quit that job. I cannot imagine still having a mullet (yes, I had one) or wearing a corduroy suit (yes, I had one of those too). I cannot imagine the fax machine being the latest and greatest tech or recording a voice greeting on a tape recorder answering machine.

I would like to think that we improve as we move away from the mullet and, hopefully, war. I would like to think that "the better way" is not a dream or a sin. I would like to believe that the evolution of new technology and new attitudes will continue the creation and progression of "where we live." I have heard it said, "to each his own." I guess it depends on how you choose to define that moment.

©by rayannethorn

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Your posts always make me think, which is good. I am going to ponder my defining moments. :-)
Thanks for a great reflection in the middle of another busy day!
Defining moments can be small. Like every day waking up next to someone you care so deeply about you would give your heart to them (literally) if you were the only available donor. Then on the flip side, there are uglier defining moments such as we're facing here in NYC. Namely about the building of the mosque near Ground Zero. In a country that was built on freedom of speech and religion, I think it is shameful the hypocrisy on display here. According the opponents, every Muslim must have terrorist ties. All 1.4 billion of them. An it wasn't that long ago when every black person was considered a criminal, drug addict and generally inferior to whites. Oh - and let's not forget that the Jews must control all the money and media in the entire galaxy. I think defining moments offer us an opportunity to embrace what's extraordinary in our lives, and can also provide the impetus to change what's wrong. And that is most defining indeed.
Rayanne, you have provided some thought provoking insights (as usual). I wonder if the reason defining moments have such as impact on us is that those are the times that the circumstances supersede all other activities in our life. As those moments take preeminence, there impact is felt more deeply. I also think how we react to those circumstances is part of how those events define us.

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