“Two-percent moments”. They’re the moments that would make it in a story told about someone long after they’re gone, the moments of a person’s life that define them, complete them, definitively alter their path, and flash before their eyes upon death. The moments that make living so extraordinary. A collective aggregate of important, beautiful, and calamitous events and occurrences and moments that would amount to two-percent of your entire life. Not the monotonous hours spent completing trivial tasks and empty formalities, but the most joyous and tragic occasions of a person’s life that they can’t and won’t forget; the stories your grandchildren will be hearing about before bedtime, wide-eyed, curious, and patiently awaiting another adventure, another momentous tale about their rogue ancestor (“Our grandma was a robot????”).
What are my “two-percents”? I’m not sure, and I won’t be sure until the end, but I feel one of them would have to be this moment overlooking an Uruguayan sunset, an hour outside of Tacuarembo, captured by my sister. We were making a loop around southern South America; from Buenos Aires down the coast to the sacred Land of Fire, traversing Patagonia on cold local buses and weaving our way up north through Chile and eastern Argentina. From northern Chile, a hop to Salta, a quick dash to Iguazu, and then to the mysterious, wholly underrated land known as Uruguay, where we would travel inland to gaucho country. It was the first time the trip really registered – that I was doing what I loved most, that there’s a whole world to see and I was seeing it; it was on that trip I realized how little it takes to make me happy, and I’ve felt as free and open to possibility as that infinite horizon ever since. The best feeling in the world is knowing you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That you’re in the exact place you’re supposed to be at the exact time you’re supposed to be there. Nothing could be changed to improve on it. Life, chance, God, fate, whatever you believe in, presents you with a matchless moment, not even a blip on the continuum of time and history and the world, but a perfect miniscule snapshot of what life can be like on the only planet in our galaxy – that we know of – to enigmatically and incidentally support life.
I didn’t want to turn back. I would be perfectly content just standing in that spot, absorbing an Uruguayan winter while sniffing the delicious smell of wood burning from a kilometer away, staring at the horizon until darkness fell, and then I would be just as happy staring at the stars until morning. I hadn’t showered for days, my hair had developed unintentional dreads, I was sore from sheep-herding all afternoon, our finances were worryingly questionable (the moments I was on the road with less than a dollar in my pocket have been some of the best of my life), and my mind was dizzy with calm uncertainty for over two months. I was certain of one thing, however, and it’s that the breeze I felt at this moment I will feel again, in my two-percents.