You Used To Be A Sperm

Before you go getting too judgmental regarding the picture I’ve chosen, know this…there were some really gross choices and I went with the best available. Trust me on this.

So, life happens apparently, which is why I don’t have a well thought out and laboured over post for you this week. Instead I’ve decided to leave you with a thought, a little bit of wisdom from “The Book of Awesome” that caught my attention today. It comes from the section Neil Pasricha titled, Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now. You can read the whole thing here.  He took the thought in an entirely different direction that I probably would have, but the bottom line is the same. We should stop and remember how very lucky we are…often.

Neil wrote:

But if I really stop to think about it, a lot had to happen before we could be here right now. A lot had to happen before we could buy bananas from Ecuador and eat turkey cold cuts, before we could scroll through blogs about warm underwear and cool pillows, before we learned to read anything at all, before we grew tall, before we could talk, before we could walk, before we were even born…

So let’s stop for a second and pull back. Let’s pull way, way, way, way back.


You used to be a sperm.

Now don’t get self conscious. We all used to be sperm. Check out the period at the end of this sentence. That tiny little dot is around 600 microns wide. When you were a sperm you were about 40 microns wide. And you were so cute back then too with your little tail wagging all over the place and your love of swimming. Boy could you swim. In fact if you hadn’t outswum your siblings, you might be a slightly different version of yourself right now. Maybe you’d have a higher-pitched laugh, hairier arms, or stand two inches shorter.

You had a great life as a sperm but always felt incomplete. The truth is you weren’t whole until you met an egg. And then you two began a nine month project to make a cool new version of you. It took a while but you grew arms and legs and eyeballs and lungs. You grew nerves and nails and eardrums and tongues.

I love imagining that I had a great life as a sperm but felt incomplete and went out “searching” for more…and I especially like that he rhymed lungs and tongues. In fact, I can’t stop singing “eyeballs and lungs, eardrums and tongues.  Things like that just stick in my head and yet I can’t remember the essentials! *shrug*

He goes on to say:

Life is so great that we only get a tiny moment to enjoy everything we see. And that moment is right now. And that moment is counting down. And that moment is always, always fleeting.

You will never be as young as you are right now.

So whether you’re enjoying your first toothpicked turkey cold cuts and marveling at apples from South Africa, dreaming of strange and distant relatives from thousands of years ago, or staring into the blackness of deep, deep space, just remember how lucky we all are to be here right now.

If you feel that sense of wonder and beauty in all the tiny joys in life then you’re part of an international band of old souls and optimists, smiling on sidewalks, dancing at weddings, and flipping to the other side of the pillow. Let’s all high five and keep thinking wild thoughts, dreaming big dreams, and laughing loud laughs.

So here’s a big high five to you reader! Take a moment to remember how lucky you are, after all, look how far you’ve come! Awesome!


  • Tracy Westerholm

    The miracle of life indeed! Isn’t it awesome that the sperm NEEDS the egg to be complete! Otherwise they are just wasted and don’t flourish into something so miraculous, a human life! They need to work together to make life happen…literally!

    I love this Bonnie! ((((((smile)))))

  • john

    Life is “good” for all us swimmers!
    Funny thing though, since that gold medal swimming performance I have been a relatively weak swimmer ever since.
    Still remember that day, could sense the rest of the pack right on my tail right up until the finish.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.