Have you ever noticed how a simple reimagining of the letters in a word can create a shift in its meaning? For example, the word nowhere. The definition as we know it is ‘not in, at, or to any place; not anywhere,’[i] and for weeks, many of us have felt its effects.
Nowhere to be. Nowhere to go. This forced nowhere has been stressful and inconvenient, but viewed differently, NoWhere can become an opportunity to be NowHere. Because although our choices of places to go and be are limited, we are all still somewhere and in fact, Here is where we are. Here is always where we are whether we are rushing around from place to place or stuck within the confines of our home.
But how many of us actually know how to exist in the realm of NowHere? When schedules get busy and calendars fill up, it’s easy for intention to get lost in the shuffle. We run on automatic, fueled by a drive to be, do, and have as much as possible until something out of the ordinary happens and snaps us out of our routine. An injury, an accident, a diagnosis, a pandemic.
It is in these instances of loss or change when we may wake up from our unconscious living, becoming fully aware of what and who is really important. But more often than not the effect is temporary, the altered perspective a mere bump in the road before we are off and running again.
The good news is we have the power. We can carry with us the wisdom gained from these experiences or we can slowly sink back into the monotony. We can grow and learn as a result or we can remain rooted in obstinacy. We can lament the NoWhere or we can celebrate the NowHere. What will you choose?
[i] Webster’s New World Dictionary, 2nd college ed., Simon and Schuster, New York 1982: 975.