About 5 minutes into the movie, I felt indebted to Billie, more than I could ever describe. Not only did she fight for gender equality, but after splitting from her husband and coming out later in life, she was a huge activist for the LGBTQ community. She used her platform to change the world, and the things she said and did nearly 50 years ago have a direct impact on my life and the lives of so many.
It’s amazing to think about the amount of people it’s taken to bring me to today. Let’s start at my parents, then zoom out to both their sets of parents, then both their sets of parents, then… etc. etc. etc. My teachers, coaches, friends, all the people who haven’t accidentally hit my car on the freeway, my great great great great grandparents I’ve never thought about until this very moment. All the decisions they made and didn’t make, the times they escaped illness or jail or death, just to meet the spouse and have the kid and raise the kid to meet their spouse to have the kid to raise the kid to meet THEIR spouse and get engaged and then almost call it off and then NOPE they’re staying together and then 5 generations down the line, I showed up. By the time I was born, someone had already figured out which clothes are safest for babies. How to test kids for disease. Which neighborhoods in California were most conducive to a happy and healthy upbringing. How to build and buy and use a cell phone, then how to play Snake, how to text, how to get rid of all the buttons and leave one huge screen instead. If my parents alone were the only people I ever interacted with, I owe them my life, not only for creating me, but for spending each day making the choices that got me here.
It’s mind-blowing, the stars that lined up to get me here. With my exact DNA and characteristics and hometowns and interests and skills. I try to think about all those people often, even though I could never fully understand the amount of people who’ve had a hand in my life. I’m thankful nonetheless.
All these thoughts brings me to one of my favorite little pages in a book called The Daily Stoic
by Ryan Holiday. Enjoy: