The 10 Greatest Moments of Your Life
“We are only as strong as the mark we left behind” – The Ataris
Can you recall the last time you were bored?
With Netflix, Kindle and the entire sum of human knowledge in your pocket, getting bored these days is kinda hard. Still, even in our ultra-connected society there’s gonna come a time when your battery dies, your 4G fades or your Facebook friends run out of interesting things to say (an outlandish notion, I know).
When that nightmare arrives, here’s a little game you can play. The next time you’re bored, take a deep breath, close your eyes and think about the greatest moments in your life. Times when you sparkled, triumphed or made someone happy. Times when you were the life of the party or the cosiest soul in the land. Your life as a movie? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Ten majestic moments is all you get.
Like what exactly?
Well, remember that time you…
…cooked nothing special…and it turned out amazing?
Round up the random ingredients in the back of the cupboard. Throw them in a pan. Turn up the heat and hope for the best. Lo and behold, a culinary masterpiece is born. You could replicate that recipe 100 times over and it’ll never taste as good as it did that night. Let it go; some moments are destined never to be repeated.
…got stoned af and laughed your ass off?
“We thought you’d have a wellie boot on your head.”
“You don’t need your head to eat burgers.”
Don’t try to make sense of it – you had to be there man. And don’t judge: I’ll bet your best super-baked memory is just as nonsensical. Mine involved some yoghurt pots, a lot of hash and a room full of sore sides. Thanks, Ry.
…had a lucky escape from the cops?
Even virtuous citizens like myself have the occasional run-in with five-oh. Like the time I threw a bar of weed into the bushes seconds before a patrol car pulled into the car park. Or the time I had my car impounded by traffic cops and managed to sly £3,500 and a quarter of coke out of the motor before they could tow it. Or the time I stashed a bunch of weed behind the car stereo just as CID knocked on the window. Or the time…ah, you get the picture.
Wanna dive deeper? Okay then. How about that time you…
…told someone you loved them and actually meant it?
And then they repeated those same words back.
…kissed someone and it felt like the best thing in the world?
Not your first kiss – your best kiss. You do have a favourite kiss, right? If not, you really ought to kiss more…or possibly just learn to kiss better.
…crashed a party?
…broke the speed limit…and then kept accelerating?
…took your first ecstasy tablet?
…misbehaved in a nightclub?
One night, me and a mate (we’ll call him Bob) got hammered in a rock club before sneaking through to the back room, which was officially closed that evening. Once inside, we helped ourselves to drink from the bar before pissing behind the DJ booth (because we couldn’t risk returning to the main room and being seen). We then grabbed a six-pack of alcopops before bolting out the fire exit and into the night. The next morning, we paid for our sins with the guiltiest hangover ever.
…did the greatest line of cocaine in the world?
Just thinking about it makes my nose run and my jaw clench.
….got with someone you had no right to be with…and it felt awesome?
Maybe they were way out of your league. Maybe it was your best friend’s ex. Maybe you’re going to hell for it. Maybe there’s no such place and you still fap over the memory to this day.
…first gave someone an orgasm?
Anyone and anything can make a guy cum but girls – some girls – take a little more work. Nothing can match the sensation of a girl looking you in the eye as she’s unleashing a knee-trembling, toe-clenching orgasm. Technically she could have been thinking of her ex as that O ravished her body, but don’t let that detract from the moment. You did this. You. Who’s awesome? Yep, it’s you.
Of course, not all of your greatest memories have to be debauched. Some can be downright sweet. Like, how about your…
…greatest memory of playing with your mum or dad?
When I was five, I remember bounding eagerly through to my parents’ room in the morning. One of my favourite games involved my dad raising his knees beneath the duvet to form a horse’s saddle. I would then sit atop his knees while he recited a nursery rhyme, gleefully awaiting the ultimate line “…and DOWN into the big ditch!” that would see me ejected from the saddle, before scrambling up and pleading to begin all over again. Years later, when I played the same game with my daughters, they loved it just as much as five year-old me.
…best unexpected day off school?
Six years old. A thick blanket of snow covering the fields. I waited at the top of the country road with my sister for the schoolbus. When it didn’t come, we walked home and had a second breakfast of porridge and boiled eggs with Marmitey soldiers before playing games at the table and savouring the warm glow of the rayburn. Best day off ever.
Or the time you…
…learned the meaning of the word ‘unputdownable’?
12 years old. Having been captivated by the previous summer’s blockbuster, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, I found myself reading the book of the film. Like the movie, it was probably so-so, but 12 year-old me was hooked. In my top bunk, I stayed up all night reading it by the orange glow of the streetlight.
….drove your flatmates insane by playing the same album to death?
First year at uni. Manic Street Preachers’ “The Holy Bible”. Sorry guys.
…discovered the internet and realised you’d found your one true love?
Dial-up. MSN. MySpace. Limewire. Pre-social media, when people would type in URLs and actually surf the net. Simpler times. Good times.
…lived through an epic day on the internet?
Dorner’s last stand. The Tsaernev brothers running amok. Charlie Hebdo. Any televised car chase on the freeways of LA. Nothing beats joints, bantz and staying up till dawn while The Happening happens across two screens and a dozen tabs.
…stumbled across your favourite new song?
And then played it non-stop till you couldn’t stand it.
…did something kind for a stranger?
…felt at one with nature?
Not in the hippie sense; more in the sense of being completely calm, content and immersed in your surroundings. Onna beach. Bya lake. Inna woods.
…realised that, in the end, our memories are all we have?
This was conceived as a happy article, but it came from a sad place. It was written in the near darkness, pen scratching blindly on paper, with the only light coming from five green buttons on the oxygen machine beside my parents’ bed. It was written with my distorted shadow clinging to the ceiling and the only sound my mum’s breathing, which came in short, laboured bursts.
It was written on her last night on earth, while my brother and I took turns at maintaining a bedside vigil. That night, instead of a eulogy, I vowed to write something positive. A piece that might give you cause to reflect on the best times, people and moments in your life. Because in the end – when you take away our smartphones and our fitness trackers, when you cancel our Netflix and power down our Kindles – that’s all we have left: a series of moments stitched together to form a tapestry we call life.
Live in the present, but never forget the past or the people that made you who you are today. Your parents. Your siblings. Your friends. Your former self.
Savour the small victories. Relish the simple things. Cherish every moment.