There is always a defining moment. A moment that fundamentally changes your life. Maybe you haven’t experienced it yet. Maybe you experienced it long ago. If you have, there is no doubt, no question in your mind. If you’ve lived through a moment like that, you’ll never forget it.
It’s the same as every other night. You’re hunched over, sitting behind the counter, scanning the parking lot for headlights every couple of minutes.
Instead of paying attention to the cameras outside, you’re surfing the web in blissful ignorance.
Fat, dumb, and happy.
You open another tab and start to pick up your drink when movement catches your eye. By the time you fully turn your head towards the window the two shadows have reached the door. Hoods, hats, and bandanas covering their faces and gloves on their hands.
You knew this could happen. You always knew. You just never thought it would happen to you.
In a fraction of a second there’s a knock-off of a Walther PPK pointed at your throat and a pair teens shouting through the bandanas covering their mouths. You don’t really hear what they’re saying but you know exactly what they want.
Your throat gets tight. Sweat starts to bead on your forehead. Your hearing dissipates into a faint ringing. Your vision changes and everything somehow sharpens and blurs at the same time. You keep your head down, don’t make eye contact. The lamb doesn’t look the wolf in the eye. The lamb looks at the ground and cries while it gets torn apart.
His hands are shaking violently. At first you think he’s crazy or high, then you realize he’s terrified. He could kill you, right here, right now, accidentally. His finger is on the trigger and the hammer is cocked and he’s shaking like a leaf.
There’s nothing you can put between him and you that could fully stop a bullet and you know it. There’s nothing you can do to him to stop him from pulling the trigger if he chose to and you know it.
You do what you were told to do, just like you’ve done all your life. You comply. You give the boy the money you’ve accumulated. It isn’t much, about as much as your cell phone bill, but the boys don’t seem to care.
The boy staggers backward after dumping the contents of your register in his bag and handing the bag off to his accomplice. He looks unsure, like he didn’t expect this to work. He finally remembers himself and walks back to the beer cooler.
He turns his back on you. His unarmed accomplice makes direct eye contact with you, fear in his eyes, and you’re struck with the realization that you don’t have to be a lamb.
This is your defining moment.
In that moment you become like the wolf. You lose your fear. You start to think of what you will do, instead of what could’ve happened.
You play it smart because you’re unarmed, and getting shot over chump change doesn’t seem like a great idea. You just nurture that little spark of rebellion that was made when their world met yours.
You barely even notice them run out of the store. You barely even care. It won’t play out like this next time.
Your understanding of the world has shifted. In a way you’re glad you were robbed by two wanna-be thugs whose balls hadn’t even dropped yet. You’ve had your defining moment. There’s no anger, no fear, nothing but the fire building up inside you.
You know that nobody’s responsible for you but you. Nobody’s going to keep you safe but you. Nobody is going to build you the life you want but you.
You’re going to start building, and you’re not going to stop until you’re exactly who you want to be.