First blog entry and I think I picked the right setting to initiate. I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks near my hometown, something I never did when I was in high school, nor do I usually do upon visits home. However, as pretentious as I may seem to the other writers, visionaries, and skeptics that call Starbucks home on a regular basis, I am perfectly ok with all of that. At present, the librarian looking woman who was sitting in one of the comfy chairs has just gotten up so I need to make my move.
Done. Now, not only is my tush in a much more comfortable place but so are my eyes. From my seat I have a much better view of every patron that makes their entrance and depart as well as the customers who, each in their own way, add a very unique and eclectic style and character to the friendly neighborhood Starbucks. To my immediate right is a young man with 6 o’clock shadow. His tall expresso rests next to his keys and box of Marlboro Special Blend complemented by his reflective silver Zippo lighter. Unlike some of the others here using their personal computers, he is not clacking away, nor does he seem particularly intrigued by anything he’s looking at. Rather, he looks like a casual spectator or the guy who stands in the corner at a party with a drink in one hand a his confidence in his pocket. He watches but says nothing, maybe offering a laugh or a cough where appropriate but never engaging unless engaged first. The antithesis to this specimen is made evident by the two men sitting at separate tables across from one another, both jacked into their laptops via earbud headphones. Unlike my comrade sitting to my right, these men are fully engaged by what is on their screens, taking only a few moments between staring to write down something they deemed worthwhile. Scratch that, one of them is writing, the other is simply using his other hand to utilize yet another mouse only interrupted by brief spurts of typing–a tactical move I’m certain. Both of these men are not simply taking whatever they see at face value but also adding to it. Even if each man was simply copying down the information that was onscreen into a separate medium, they are doing it in primary ways. Adding to the growing mint of knowledge, copied from here to there, but nonetheless adding to the overall total.
So why does this all matter? This morning I had the privilege to drive my mother to work at Piedmont Hospital where she interacts with patients as well as families and friends of said patients. I’ve always wondered what goes through the minds of people that find themselves in the hospital for reasons ranging from serious to not so serious, but not only them but also the people that support them. Do they fear their illness or condition? Do they wish that they had changed something about the way they lived? Do they wish that if their friend doesn’t pull through they are going to live the life that they would have wanted them to live? I went on a two hour drive to think about all of these things. Since as an RN my mother had to get to work at 7:00 I had the opportunity to drive into the sunrise which for some reason, the metaphorical nature of God shedding light on the world helped me in my own pondering. Most would have us believe that life is too short, or that everything happens too fast, but can that really be in? We just got an extra day this year for crying out loud–I’m looking at you February 29. Why do we blame the God given amount of time we have on this Earth for not giving us enough time to do what we want to do? Why do we feel like such failures at life when we are only given one life to live? Why do we watch tv shows, focus on new experiences that highlight a new life, a new shot or a new dream? Why? Because we choose not to capitalize on the opportunity, the life we have been given to pursue our passions. Normal people don’t have passions, normal people don’t go on some sort of quest to reach their goals, normal people’s lives aren’t like the movies or tales in a storybook; normal lives are realistic!
Therefore my question is, “Why?!” Why do most of us choose to be realistic? Why do we choose limiting ourselves as opposed to reaching for the stars and naively believing that we’ll catch one and at the very least, we’ll land on the moon? Will Smith once said, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity. So why be realistic?” What are the words that will be inscribed on your tombstone? Will it say, “Here lies ________. S/He came so close to challenging the norm, to pursuing his/her passion, but in the end, s/he settled…for average.” Live your life like your tombstone was on the line, not in a morbid way, but in a way that says, “His/Her story was the most unrealistic story there ever was told.” The best part, is that you don’t have to wait to begin, just go for it! Remember, the clock is ticking.