Monday, September 3, 2012

The Sky's the Limit

I find myself with every breath that I take. Every action that emits
from my body and mind shapes me. Even now as I aspire to live one day
at a time my mother reminds me…

 “Stop stressing so much. You’re to young to stress.”

 She doesn’t mean don’t take on so much responsibility, or don’t try
your best in every situation. She just means that whatever I do, as
well as I do it, understand that the outcome is ultimately out of my
control.

We try so hard to manipulate our everyday lives. I have to ask myself
why? What are we really trying to get out of it. When you sit down and
review your life, and compare it to your future… do you really know
what you want in life?

 I’m not talking about saying “I want to be a doctor, and marry Susie.”

 hat’s a great overview, but what are you going to do to get to that
point? What are you going to do tomorrow? Can you really plan out
everyday over the next five years? No. Our brains don’t work on that
capacity. That’s why we place a vision of what we “Think we want” in
our minds, and guide ourselves one day at a time towards that. Maybe
in five years, if Susie, and med school are in the cards, you’ll get
there.

 But what if after three years, Susie decides that she “Needs to focus
on herself for a while” and you take an art course as an elective that
makes you realize you like the shape of the human body, but not really
working with it. What if you want to be a sculptor?

 We have no idea what is going to happy in five years… or five months.
We can’t even really predict today. Why would we spend so much time
preparing for tomorrow, when we still haven’t used all of today to our
advantage.

 Some things we can never get back. Time is one of them. I saw a
simple quote last night that makes it very easy to understand.

 “Time is like a coin. You can only spend it once.”

 What will you spend your time on?

 When you wake up in the morning, will you have any regrets about what
you could have done today? Don’t wait for special occasions, like the
“Last First Day of Class” to celebrate. Make sure you appreciate the
second and the third as well. You will only be in classes for so long.
Will you remember everything you learned? Absolutely not. However, you
should make a valid effort in that direction.

 We live in an incredibly large world. Look at it like this:

 Whatever room you are in right now, look around.

 Are you inside? If so are there walls keeping you in? Is the room
large or small? Regardless, this is just one room. There is a roof
over your head. How many objects are in the room? Is it empty, or
cluttered? Are there a thousand tiny things sitting around you ranging
from books to utensils, shoes to lamps etc.

 So now think about the effort that went into that room.

 Someone built it. Likely a number of someones. Someone designed it,
constructed it, painted it, decorated it. A number of people also made
the objects around you. And the device you’re reading this from. Those
people had bosses above them, and went home to their families that
night. Already you’ve expanded to a couple of hundred people. Think
about the number of people they interact with.

 This world is so much bigger than you and I, which means you have no
limits. If you’re not happy with your life, then change it. Walk up to
any of those people, and begin a journey to discover not only
yourself, but your possibilities.

 I’ve been lucky enough (maybe na├»ve enough) to believe I can’t fail.
That’s why in approximately two weeks I will be in Los Angeles. I
could easily count down those days. I could sit here and wish the time
away in between, but I refuse to do that. There is still so much to
do, and feel, and experience before I go.

 Like right now. I’m winding down from a wonderful few days getting to
know myself and others. Letting myself feel. Being a little crazy, and
acting on impulse. It has been nice. I haven’t been the least bit
stressed.

 A couple of months ago, when I started toying with the idea of
heading back to Los Angeles, I was nearly in a panic. What would I do?
Where would I live? How would I support myself? Was this the right
decision?

 It felt right, but I decided to just see where it went. I found a
roommate first. On the 12th I’ll be moving into my Hollywood
apartment, where I can see the Hollywood sign from my balcony. She’s a
nice girl it seems. We Skyped and discussed our personality traits and
pet peeves to see if we were compatible. I’m pretty easy to get along
with, so I didn’t expect there to be a problem.

 After that I began finding my way into little projects. I am working
with Let Love Live clothing company (see the Let Love Live blog post)
to help raise money for other non-profits. I also reconnected with a
friend of mine out in L.A who is starting her own non- profit. Another
friend told me yesterday that she might just have me a job. Things
fall into place. You have to be open minded, and actively pursue
opportunity, but if you do that and have faith then that opportunity
will come. Life will come.

 When I flew out of O’Hare last week, I was on a smaller flight out to
Fargo, North Dakota. The plane was tiny. A man in the row behind me
spoke up to his mother who was sitting next to me, and said that they
would talk once they hit the ground. Me being who I am (combined with
the fact he had a window seat) offered to switch seats with him. He
said thank you, smiled politely, and we switched. When we landed I saw
him while he was grabbing his luggage. He smiled, silently thanking me
again. Such a simple interaction, but still significant.

 As I stood today to go use the restroom before my return flight on a
Tuesday afternoon at 5:10 p.m, I passed this same man. Surprised, we
both stopped and laughed. He hugged me. Mind you, I’ve not even gotten
his name at this point, but we both recalled that moment from the week
before. That minute gesture got me an interaction, and sincere
appreciation from another human being.

We talked briefly. He asked how my trip was. I said that it went
really well, pleasure, not business. He said that he was in town for a
funeral. His mother’s brother had passed away. I couldn’t help but
quietly thank god for instructing me to switch seats with him that day
so he could be closer to her. God really does work in mysterious ways.
This man, from Austin, Texas, who just happened to be traveling in the
same direction as myself came into my life for a reason. Maybe it was
to help his mother in her time of mourning. Maybe it was to help me
appreciate life a little more. Regardless, I am glad that it happened.

 He asked if I had a layover in Chicago, and ironically I do. He asked
if I would like to grab a drink and chat. Now as most of you know, I
don’t drink, however my best friend has taught me that there are times
to show appreciation, or camaraderie. Times that having a drink is a
sign of respect or a polite way to say thank you. In half an hour or
so I will sit at a small bar in an airport, sipping on a scotch and
water next to a man I barely know. I will get a glimpse into the life
of another kind heart. I will enjoy the little things.

 Again. I encourage you. Take a chance. Reach out. Get to know
someone. Even if that moment is brief. You’ll appreciate the
experience. You’ll learn from it. Every moment in life is significant.
If you begin to appreciate those moments, then you will find
fulfillment is right there at your fingertips. It could be one seat
away.

 Don’t measure your life in the giant successes. The truth is, those
are few and far between. A successful life is a collection of little
moments that build up the greater picture. If you make it to work
without spilling your coffee, celebrate. That’s one more sip of coffee
you get to enjoy, and one less pair of khakis ruined. I know it sounds
silly, but it’s so much harder to get disappointed, when you
appreciate everything.

Even if you do get a spot of coffee on your pants, be thankful that
they weren’t your favorites. If they are your favorites, then trust
that God wants you to go get a new pair. Maybe he wants you to meet
someone at the store while shopping. Or maybe those new pants will be
the thing that makes you feel good about yourself, and gives you the
confidence to put your best foot (and leg) forward at your next job
interview.

 I can’t stress it enough. LIVE. ENJOY. ENCOURAGE. APPRECIATE.

 Incorporate these simple actions into your everyday life, sit back
and watch the incredible changes that God has in store for you. When
you begin to experience these changes, don’t forget to reach back and
thank him. Also don’t forget to pay forward the blessings you have
been given. This is what life is about. Living. It’s about the
experience. It’s about loving one another, and being a part of a much
bigger picture.

Remember me,

I'm Tennnessee

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