Ryan Carmichael Changed My Life

Once upon a time I was a copywriter at an advertising agency. We had a young intern named Ryan Carmichael who was way smarter me. I really liked that about him. What I remember most about Ryan was that nearly every day he'd come into work and profess that a song or a movie or poem or sandwich changed his life. He said it so often that the phrase started to lose its significance. I would razz him for using it so loosely and point out that his life was in fact exactly the same as it was before the song or movie or sandwich. I was a such a buzzkill back then. A few years, jobs and cities later, I finally understand what Ryan meant. All big things start small. And something as short as a paragraph or as quick as a sip has the power to invoke something in you. Deep down. They stretch your mind. They lead you to another clue. They snowball into ideas or friendships or adventures. These tiny moments change something in you and it changes the way you experience everything after. 

As soon as I realized how many little things had changed my life, I started giving the small stuff more credit. I started praising their significance. Celebrating their potential. Most of all, I started expecting something to change my life in some small way every damn day. 

I look for it. I purposely put myself in situations that encourage the unexpected. And nearly every day-a conversation, the pattern in a slice of fruit, an unexpected smile, a sticker on the sidewalk, a song, a line from a book, a line from a movie, the smell of the city after the rain- change life as I know it.

Ryan Carmichael made me pay a little more attention. Get a little quiet. Look a little closer.

This page is an ode to all of the people and things that change my life on a daily basis.