I’ve always wanted to be something bigger, to be a part of something greater. Even from a young age (blame it on growing up internationally, maybe), the idea of being ordinary wasn’t ever appealing to me. Let’s be clear, there is NOTHING wrong with a conventional or traditional life if that’s what one chooses, but that was never the path I dreamed for myself and trust me, I dreamed plenty big. Unfortunately, dreaming alone didn’t get me very far. I wasn’t doing anything to match those dreams and make them authentic. Like many, I wasted a lot of time hoping instead of preparing, following instead of leading, and accepting instead of busting my ass to get things done. I made excuses, blamed others, and consented my fate as things being as good as they were ever going to be.
Looking back, I realize now that I had only myself to blame and it kills me to think I lacked accountability for my conduct. That’s not to say I sat around doing nothing because I traveled, taught, coached, wrote a bit and even dabbled in the medical world. In fact, I’ve done a lot of things I have always said I wanted to do, but never really focused on the things I deeply dreamed of doing. I never pushed myself to be the best version of me I could be and I wasn’t being honest with myself. Maybe it was a fear of failure, but my habits and rituals were AWOL in terms of ambition and direction. I was existing but not thriving. I was all talk with little focus and was becoming a description of myself I never wanted to be. I got really good at acting the part of positivity, but internally, I allowed my failures and discouragements to become my norm and my reason to settle. I wasn’t as disciplined as I needed to be and struggled with distractions (I still struggle with distractions).
But then life slammed a few colossal wakeup calls my way that scared the shit out of me. My dad died unexpectedly, my mom’s health went south, a college buddy took his own life and a dream job I had for a few years was now no more. The final straw, as silly as it sounds, was my dog of fifteen years passing on. It seemed like all at once, I was losing every stable thing I had or knew. With the realization that this life will indeed end one day, I wasn’t satisfied with the story I had written. That’s the bad of it. Fast forward a few years later and I finally met the perfect girl. That’s the good of it. It’s amazing how having even one person believe in you even more than you believe in yourself can change the way you approach the day. Nevertheless, both the bad and the good taught me the exact same lesson in that we’re all already on borrowed time and life is undeniably what you make it. The days of thinking everything was just going to magically fall into place were over and action needed to replace hope.
I finally realized that every goal, every dream, and every want I’ve ever had came with an expiration date and even more importantly, so did I. Putting it bluntly, my bullshit meter finally elapsed and my commitment level needed to start matching my to-do list. Time became my why and truth became my time. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, as I do believe life is a journey of progression and reinvention. Whatever that goal or dream may be, start it today and quit worrying about failure or the “what if” stigma that goes with taking chances. I’m not a perfect writer but writing forces me to take risks and gives me a voice and an outlet. My advice? Stop waiting for that perfect time (there isn’t one), quit the alibis and just get on with it. Find your why because the clock is indeed ticking.