A Matter of Scale

It’s hard. The world can be a hard place.

It can be scary, it can be overwhelming, and it can even be cold.

In fact, the temperatures where I live have dropped below those of Mars just within this past week.

Huddled figures have crossed beneath my window, unrecognizable as human beneath their bundles of clothing and the sheets of snow obscuring their forms.

It can all leave you feeling very small. At least, it does for me.

And my body seems to only intensify that feeling.

It’s been hard to remain unaffected as my medical situation continues to show no sign of improvement.

On a daily basis, I struggle to complete basic human functions. I can’t always sleep properly. Can’t always move properly. Can’t always speak properly.

And I have no idea how to make it better.

I go to see doctors and get repeatedly brushed off. Sent to another specialist, or told that I just have to accept my state of being, to learn to live with it.

I feel helpless, and that translates into so many areas of my life.

It makes me afraid to make plans, afraid to commit, as it is far too likely that I will have to cancel.

And so I feel small. Insignificant. Vulnerable.

But, really, what is it that’s making me feel so minuscule?

If I were to make a list of everything that plagues me, it would involve aspects of the state of my body and the state of the world around me. How I function within it as well as how it functions beyond me.

In short, the two basic elements of my life - my self, and the world I inhabit, are the main instigators of my current feelings of helplessness. Of insignificance.

And that’s a bit ridiculous.

Because yes, life can be hard. It can be scary and cold. But it can also be beautiful. It is what gives us sunsets and music, friendship and love. It is widely viewed to be a pretty positive thing. We tend to cling to it, at any rate.

More than that, however, is the fact that it is a limited commodity. We are on this earth for such a brief amount of time, the enormity of the universe can become overwhelming to contemplate. Our entire galaxy is quite new in the grand scheme of things, and the human species is basically a newborn. Not even. Maybe we’re still in the fetal stage.

So I guess it’s not completely ridiculous that I feel small. I am small. I am less than a speck of dust in this world, and this world is less than a speck of dust in - well, something. Science was never my best subject, but I’m sure we’ve all had our minds blown by that lecture in school at some point in our lives.

It seems silly, though, to equate that relative smallness to a feeling of crushed significance - especially by something that that I am so privileged to enjoy. Especially when I know that, no matter what happens during my cameo on stage, there will be a final curtain.

I’m small. So is everyone else. So is everything else.

And as a result my actions, whether news-worthy or not, can shape our world just as much as anyone else’s.

I find that rather comforting.

I am one person, on this earth, for a brief period of time.

And I plan to make the best of it.