Always wanted to write a book? Put pen to paper. Right now.
Dreaming of moving to Paris? Start a job search (and maybe learn a few French phrases). Today.
Have an idea for a new business? Author a plan. Now.
Unless we reach for our goals, they'll always remain just that - goals.
Where is this urgency coming from? I just finished A Thousand Hills to Heaven, a novel recommended by my book club, that tells the tale of a young couple who move to Rwanda to further humanitarian efforts fighting poverty in the rural areas of the country. "Heaven" in the title is actually an allusion to the first-class restaurant they start in Kigali, where they created jobs for young Rwandans, while also teaching skills not yet available elsewhere in the country. While they certainly experienced setbacks, heartaches and doubts, they continued to reach for their goals. And, best of all, made the world a slightly better place because they kept at it.
It is hard not to be inspired by their story. In fact, the boyfriend has now heard many versions of my plan to "save the world" as a result. But, I think that is important: to want to save the world. Even more significant is the reminder that sometimes it is possible. If only we start today.
Nothing was ever created without that first spark of ingenuity. For creation to take place, not only do we have to have the idea of what to create in mind, but we have to have the inspiration and energy to make it happen.
For me, inspiration hides in many things:
- An afternoon in the kitchen
- A bright day in the great outdoors
- Conversation over that second glass of wine
- Others passionate response to a cause
- Personal reflection; re-reading that half-filled journal from 3 years ago
- Positive reinforcement; the pep talk from a best friend
- Broadening horizons; visiting somewhere new; travel
- Breaking routine; pushing through boredom; finding something new in a familiar place
While the more existential question of why does the human race exist is a more complicated question to answer, the natural progression of human thought can, in a way, reason why we, individually exist. Why was I, Tori, created?
The human hope is this: we were created on purpose. We were created because we're part of a bigger plan, we were created because we each have something unique to bring to the world.
Sitting on my couch on a January Sunday afternoon, I realized that I have not created or changed anything as of late. If we really were created for a reason, then I'd like to try harder to find mine.
From the very beginning, this blog was created to inspire others that the -ed is out there, whatever the -ed is to you. I'm going to spend some more time looking for my -ed this year and I hope you'll join me on the journey.
Ask yourself this: what have I created today? what have I done with my last 24 hours of existence?
Today, my answer is a lentil soup and this blog post. It's a start.
Everyone says you find out who your true friends are when you're going through a hard time. I think that's true, but in a very different sense. In the last few months, I've leaned on a lot of shoulders. They come in different shapes and sizes with different coping mechanisms--thankfully, because I've needed them all.
Here are few fabulous friends to have around:
1. The Flatterer. You know, the one that immediately tells you how [fill in the appropriate adjective here...wonderful, beautiful, strong, intelligent, creative, etc.] you are.
2. The Distracter. Look over here! Let's go there! Read this thing! Don't, under any circumstances, think about what I know you're thinking about.
3. The Relater. The one who has been there, in one way or another, and can tell you truthfully that she understands what you're going through. She's also walking proof that you'll get through it.
4. The Listener. Sometimes all you need is to feel someone's presence next to you. They sit and nod and pat you on the back when you need to talk, but are just as content to sit in silence and listen to what you can't say.
5. The Comic. There is humor in everything if you turn it upside down enough times. Whether it's through sarcasm, stupid humor, imitations, or just plain dirty jokes, the comic gives you relief in a very welcome way: the all-powerful laugh.
6. The Questioner. She's not afraid to ask the tough questions. And she's not afraid of the tough answers, either.
7. The Filter. It's in our nature to believe that it's always about us. The filter brings the bigger picture back into view and makes us realize that perhaps what we're going through is just a small piece of a much bigger puzzle.
I hope you have at least a few of these friends on speed dial. And even more so, I hope that you are one of these people for someone else.
That's all for today, friends.
I apologize. I'm about to unsettle you. But, it's almost the weekend, you'll say. I'm sorry, it has to be done.
In an Esquire Woody Allen Interview, there is this fabulous gem:
A guy will say, "Well, I make my luck." And the same guy walks down the street and a piano that's been hoisted drops on his head. The truth of the matter is your life is very much out of your control.
Today, I have a terrible case of wanderlust. Paris-lust, to be exact.
Let's all take a little daydream to the sun-soaked streets of Paris. We'll pass by a boulangerie and be pulled in by the delicious warm, doughy smell wafting out the door.
We'll park ourselves for a leisurely bowl of cafe au lait and a pain au chocolat, stuffing a few extra treats in our pockets before leaving a little tip for the handsome garcon.
We'll window shop in the Marais and find the perfect pair of summer sandals (on sale!)
What a lovely day, don't you think?
Sometimes, it just falls apart.
Just when you think you have it all together. Just when everything seems to be back in balance. Just when the last piece of the puzzle fits.
Shit. just. falls. apart.
But, that's life. Newly sculpted sandcastles are washed away by crashing waves. Perfectly constructed block piles tumble to the ground with a slight breeze. Delicious scoops of ice cream melt immediately in the summer sun.
Life injects these biting moments of vulnerability to show us that we can always build something better, something stronger, something more beautiful.
We all fall apart so we can put ourselves back together a different way. So, here's to rebuilding...