Today Is The First Day...

2008-10-20


Hi everyone-

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I know that I did. I arrived home very late Thursday night. I took Friday to get some sleep and to start catching up on the many things I have piling up to do.

Saturday we spent the morning at home and then met my family and some friends for a trip to Lancaster County where we visited a corn maze, adventure farm and of course the outlets. It was a really fun day. I was really happy to be back home with my family and friends.

While on my recent trip, the many hours spent driving across the country allowed me a lot of time to think. Some time I just stared aimlessly out the window but most of the time there really was some brain activity.

I thought a lot about where I am in my life, what I have accomplished and what I want to do from here on out.

I have been blessed in my life to have had many opportunities and a very supportive family. I have accomplished almost everything I have ever set out to do.

Yet there are times when I feel as though it's not all there, something is missing. I have a great family, super friends, and I love my wife and daughter more than you can imagine. So what is it that's not there? Why do I feel unsettled?

I think that a lot of it has to do with how I see myself from within and the things I let myself do or keep myself from doing for a myriad of reasons.

I think that because I have accomplished most of the goals I have set out to achieve and I have been successful in most of my endeavors that I have allowed myself to become complacent. There is nothing wrong at all with the life I have built for myself, nothing at all.

But I think that I need to challenge myself, I need to mix it up a bit. I can not just coast along fooling myself that I am completely happy with who I am. I have noticed this in so many different aspects of my personality and daily life.

I want to continue to grow as an individual and a human being. I don't want to just be happy with the status quo. I need new challenges and horizons to help feed that growth. I need to get off my ass and do something, the things that I have pushed off into the future, the goals I thought were potentially unobtainable. I need to make something happen.

This all became clear to me in somewhat of an epiphany while standing in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant in Austin, TX.

I looked at the wall and the image I posted above is what I saw. It simply said...Live. You might be thinking well what the hell have you been doing for the last 36 years?

Oh I have been alive, and I have lived a good life. One that I can look back on with joy and happiness and one that I can be proud of.

The problem has been that I have kinda been resting on my laurels. Sure I have had some goals, some aspirations but I haven't really been doing anything about them.

I have been in the middle of my crazy life, going day to day, running all over the place doing all kinds of things. But have I reeeeaaalllyyy been living it? I'm not so sure.

I had just experienced 30 days on the road visiting some of the most beautiful places in America but I was going through the paces. I complained because there were no clouds in the sky to create beautiful sunrises, the animals were more difficult than ever to find, I was not inspired.

How could that be. The places that I was at do not lose their beauty. They just change or evolve. The parks I was in were not less beautiful because there wasn't a cloud to reflect the pink light of a sunrise. The magical light was still there. I just didn't let myself see it.

When I was in Austin, I was uninspired. I wasn't 'feeling' it. And it shows in the work I brought back. But it wasn't because of Austin it was because of what I let myself see and feel.

I know this now, looking back. I have seen the work of the friends I was there with. They found it, they let themselves see the beauty that the city was offering to them and their work shows it. For the most part I did not.

It wasn't until I met Ezekiel and put his story, my experience with him and the word LIVE on the side of a building together until I began to understand the message of my experiences.

Ezekiel was a man on the street, recently released from prison to find his wife gone and his kids in protective services. There is much more to his story and I'll tell it in the days and weeks to come as I complete the images I shot in my time with him.

More and more I think that everything happens for a reason. Every encounter with another person, every event in our lives, it's all connected and it all serves a purpose.

I think the purpose of the events of my last trip were to serve as a smack on the face, to snap me out of the funk I have been in, the lull in my energy, in my creativity and my happiness.

I need to go forth from here, shed off the negative forces in my life, the stuff that brings me down, that doesn't lead me to a better place and seek out those things that do bring me to that better place, that place of happiness and excitement, that place that makes me yearn for the next day to arrive.

I have figured out what many of those things are for me and I am still seeking the rest. Those that I have figured out I am embracing fully, placing them at a much higher priority in my life.

Those things that do not lead me to that place will be let go. Many of you will be surprised to find to find out what some of those things are. It is amazing that one day you can think something is you, is your joy and then it evolves into something that keeps you from the very things you think it brings you.

Thank you for making it this far in my post. I don't always write in a clear or cohesive manner. But as I was thinking these thoughts it made sense to me, which I guess is what's most important. But I want you to be able to get something out of it as well. I hope that somewhere in all of that rambling you might have found a little bit of something that resonates within your soul.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life...live it like it's your last. Live your life, embrace it, embrace yourself, let yourself be the person you want to be. Do the things you want to do. Try the things you never thought you could. Set goals then crush them by outperforming your wildest dreams.

I may not be the best person to be telling you all of this. I have realized though that some of this is the very stuff I haven't been doing but very well may be just what I need.

After speaking with Ezekiel I have realized there may not be a do over, and if there is it might not go like you think or it might be too late. So get out there now and at least try it. Give it everything you got, you may not succeed, you may not even really like it but at least you LIVED. At least you felt alive.

LIVE your life, don't just exist your life.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to share with me. Thank you for reading what I have to say. I'll be talking a lot more about this subject in the future as I set my self on a new course and use my photography and this blog to keep myself on that course.

Have a great day!

3 comments:

J. L. T. said...

Great thoughts, thank you for communicating this. I wish you luck and joy on your way. Sunny greetings

Gordon said...

sounds familiar

JBC said...

May you have the strength to make the right decisions and never have to say you've led a boring life.