What My World's Like

#notetoself: touch the sky.

Apr
03

This is the fifth #notetoself letter, originally sent on March 5, 2012.

Henry David Thoreau said, “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” He lived in the first half of the 19th century and yet those words still contain truth today. It’s sad. Quiet desperation kills the spirit.

Before this trip, I realized how discontent I’d become with my life. My work didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing with my “work”. I never knew how answer the “what do you do?” question. I don’t know. Live. That was the response I wanted to give.

I’m a great starter. My starting energy is fresh, empathic and certain. Then, slowly but surely, it’d wane and I’d quit. I’m also a great quitter. My attention usually shifts gears to something else equally engaging.

That’s a pattern I’m really sick of.

A few nights ago, I happened upon an Alicia Keys’ song called “How It Feels to Fly” that’s feeding my soul. With such ambiguous lyrics, I don’t know exactly what she’s talking about in the song, but for me, it makes me think about reaching for my dreams.

“I am riding high, don’t wanna come down.
Hope my wings don’t fail me now.
If I can touch the sky, I’d risk the fall
Just to know it feels to fly.”

How many of our goals are our own? Whose definition of success drives our actions? I can criticize corporate America all I want, but I was a part of the rat race, even if I didn’t have a 9-5. The discontent I feel is the result of not doing things I wanted to do, for whatever reason. There’s so much I want to do, and have wanted to do but have neglected to. This trip is the perfect example of a dream deferred. I’ve always wanted to travel and stay somewhere for a longer period of time. That’s just now happening for me. On the other hand, I appreciate it just the same because I can receive so much of this experience differently than I might have in the past.

Being here has awakened me to my desire to do things I’ve neglected to do, things I let sit in the recesses of my mind and my heart. They were there, alive, but unattended. Living a life with meaning, passion and fulfillment are of incredible importance to me.

Earlier last week, one of the people I’ve been blessed to meet on this trip asked me if I wanted to hike one of the two volcanoes on the island. Of course he wanted to do the larger volcano, Volcan Concepcion, the one we look at everyday. Without hesitation, I said yes. Sure. Why not?

(more…)

you ever tell yourself to shut up?

Oct
13

A few months ago, I met these awesome twin pastors and in a sermon, one of them said he tried to only say what was necessary one day and found himself having to be very quiet. It made me think about how much we say. How many words and ideas and opinions come out of our mouths. How much of it is necessary or even relevant? How much of it reflects the type of person we want to be?

In analyzing myself, I’ve noticed how much I give my opinion. Without request. “There it is, I’ll give it to you.” While I appreciate the boldness, albeit blind, and openness of it, I’m just one person of nearly seven billion. I certainly don’t want to know everyone’s opinion on everything because…I don’t care. And, in most cases, unless someone asks me, they don’t care about mine.

Hmmm.

I need to humble myself. In fact, I’m about to. I’m going to see what happens when I focus on only saying what’s necessary. If it doesn’t improve upon silence, must it be said?

Enter the silence.