In my nighttime marauding of YouTube, I notice the immense scrutiny and efficacy of a good thumbnail freeze. In a fail video, it captures the offended in their peak demise. In a reaction video, the face is in the greatest affronted contortion. In a sports highlight, we see a Basketball player dunking, a Baseball player diving, or a Football player reaching for the catch.
The defining, enthralling moment entices us to click.
If our life is a YouTube video, what would attract the audience to view?
In other words, what snippet defines our greater existence? How might a fleeting intensity dictate our overarching expedition for meaning?
Fortunately for us, our lives are not YouTube videos (otherwise, cats and buzzer beaters would be more regularly featured in my own day-to-day). We segment our lives into chapters. Our 20’s are supposed to feel different from our 30’s, 40’s, etc.
We can expect a handful of thumbnails to chronicle our story. My own story weaves a comic book of the cities and countries I’ve called home.
They include Chicago.
And last, and certainly not least, New York City.
Each are watermarked with a sentiment, a lesson, and another step in forward. My deepest despairs, the gut-checks, free falls, the moments where you are inches from giving up. Those valleys always become my rocket fuel.
Reflecting on our history builds our personal timeline. Growth stems from discomfort, and reminding myself of the expanse of thumbnails – glorious or not – completes the background of our progression forward.
After all, we are a patchwork of the moments we live, the proximity of our relationships, and the decisions we make. What a glorious quilt we weave with introspection.