When I was growing up, like most young people, I couldn’t wait to get older and be an adult. And now I watch my own children and just wish I could bottle up their youth so when they grow up, I could pour it over their heads so they could remember how good they had it as kids.
But when you’re young, it’s your job to think the world is your oyster. We teach our children to believe that they can be anything they put their minds to becoming, they can have anything they work hard enough to get and they can achieve whatever their hearts desire with enough determination, motivation and ambition.
So what happens? When is that “un-magical moment” when we start believing that all of that may not be possible? And when we start thinking that maybe our parents just lied or misspoke, maybe they said all those things just to get us to do our homework, go to practice, finish that book or even go to college.
It’s got to be something in our own minds that just clicks with age to make us believe that the impossible isn’t possible, that the walls blocking us are unable to break and that the obstacles keeping us from our goals and dreams are just too much to overcome.
But then you see these people in the news who have figured out how to continue find those ‘magical moments’ again and do what was thought to be impossible. The single mothers finishing college and achieving a better life for themselves and their children. Those who have lost loved ones only to rise from the ashes and figure out how to use their grief to help others and keep moving forward. A young person living in violence and despair, finding a way to break the mold of their surroundings and make a different life for themselves instead of the one that seems inevitable for them.
So I guess I have to call ‘Bullshit!’ to the people who believe that the life that they are living now has is the only option with no other alternate chapters available. I have always believed that our lives are only outlined in pencil when we are born so that we can write and erase until we have determined the story of our lives that we want told. But if we allow ourselves to believe what you have is what you get then shame on us.
Because what’s that saying… in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.
Before my father died, he sat in his regular chair in the living room and gave me the ‘long talk’ about what I needed to do with my life. Looking back on that moment now, I wish that I would’ve been smart enough to record it because I can still remember him sitting in the chair, even down to the clothes he was wearing that day. But his words have gone fuzzy now over the last 12 years.
I remember being 25 years old and realizing that my father was giving me ‘the speech.’ And I wanted so much to truly listen to his sage advice but I just couldn’t because I was still in denial over the whole situation. But what I remember most were his general advice about living my life to the fullest, never losing who I am, never forgetting the person I am inside, never stop believing in myself, always smiling because my smile could light up any room, never stop writing, go to graduate school if I can and finally, just keep living up until I take my very last breathe.
Our lives are meant to be a composition book of empty pages, waiting to be filled with our adventures. And while some of those adventures will come with tears and sorrow, many will also come with laughter, joy, friendship, happiness and those incredible memories worthy to fill page after page.
Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, not just passed from day to day. So fight that ‘un-magical moment’ and continue to overcome the obstacles, break down those walls and risk the impossible to make anything possible because life is what we choose to make of it.
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