I’ve just come back from an event with [Pattern]. As always, networking with people has provided me with a reminder of why I do what I do.
I met so many people tonight. Some of those were established business owners. Some of them new businesses. Others – up and comers. This blog is for you. The up and comers. While I hope I provided some sort of encouragement to you – I know that there’s strength in numbers. I also want you to know you’re not alone. One of my friends, Scott, has agreed to let me share his most recent blog post with you.
My hope is that you not stay in the place that you are now – but let this be a little push or a huge shove forward into the place you should be. The place where YOU become the encourager for another up and comer. Live. YOU! LIVE! No longer is it OK to exist and hope that you make it. Take steps. Get out of your head. Step outside of logic. Chaos is where the living gets good.
I hope you enjoy his blog – but more than that, I hope you do something with it.
Last night consisted of a myriad of vivid dreams. One, in particular, woke me up with tears dripping down my cheeks.
Growing up, my Mom always hung enormous photos of my brother and I on the hallway walls most near our bedrooms. One particular wall seemed like a prison lineup of school photos of the both of us, sequenced chronologically over the previous 8 years. They nearly were. It was a wall of nerdy, quirky, humorous, and embarrassing mug shots.
As we grew older, we started acquiring hobbies, and identities. So, as you would imagine, our photos began to parallel those changes. My brother had photos of him doing his hobbies. I had photos of me doing mine. Intermixed were photos of our whole family, Mom and Dad included.
All of these, of course, are photographs. They are accurate and definitive glimpses of a moment in time. Frozen memories behind a pane of glass.
My dream last night, as you may imagine, was a bit more.
Picture your family, let’s say five years ago, meeting together at the house you will always consider your one true home. And picture a painting on a specific wall of that house, which you will always remember. This isn’t a photo, this is a painting. This is a painting that changes with time.
This was my dream. Bear with me.
The first time I notice the painting, it is of my Grandpa and Grandma. They were beautiful people. As I look at the painting, Grandpa begins to fade away, until he is gone. As there were lineups of photos on the walls of my houses growing up, consider a wall of paintings on this wall. To the right was a painting of my Grandfather and Grandmother. They, too, were beautiful individuals. Grandfather fades away, until he is gone. Looking back to the left, Grandma is alone in her painting. Looking right, Grandmother has faded, and is gone. Their painting is now a sheet of black.
I don’t dare look back at Grandma’s painting, because I know the inevitable outcome. I knew this would become a painting that I would never want to buy. Empty. Lonely. Black.
Their painting is now a sheet of black.
In my dream, I receive a letter from Grandma. She had long passed. In her letter, she tells of a painting that has been in our family throughout the generations. This painting is a painting in motion. It changes as our family does. It is a timeline only seen by who is looking at it.
Looking at it, I see our immediate family. Mom, Dad, brother, and me. This particular painting is a rendering of a photo that a park ranger took of our family in the Smokies a few years ago. The four of us were there. Then, one wasn’t.
When I woke up at 4:00, I started sobbing. Not because I saw myself dying, but because I didn’t see myself living.
I don’t know when I am going to die. Truth be told, I hope I outlive all of you. But, if in the enormous possibility that I don’t, I hope I live my life alive.
I’ve lived most of my life in the fear of being beaten, in perhaps every sense of the word. But, I haven’t. Not nearly in any sense of the word. I’m learning to live my life in a way that motivates me, that pushes me, and makes me happy. And in that sense, I won’t be beaten. And in that sense, hopefully, I won’t fade to black.
So what’s keeping you from living? Don’t just say you want it. Seek it. Find it. Do it.