“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” -Steve Jobs
It has taken me most of my natural life to get to this place of understanding. To truly and deeply understand that my time here on earth is limited. And, that I am (in fact) here to create a life that waxes and wanes with each experience – to create something that I can be proud of by leaning in and seeing what pops out on the other side.
I know this today more so than ever. And, while it is not always wise to compare lives – as I embark upon my 40th year of life – I hold a deep reminder, I lost my father at the age of 54 and my mother at the age of 45. I had the experience of walking each of them to the end. My father through a terminal illness that lasted for three months. My mother through a lifetime of struggle through addiction that took her life at the age of 45. I can say this with ABSOLUTE certainty – they were both ready to go when the day arrived! There was such peace at the end of each of their respective lives.
These two experiences gave me such a deep hunger for living a full life. For freeing myself of the societal bondage of thinking everyone around me knew the secret to life. They don’t and neither do I. But, I have committed myself to finding my own secret of life.
Life has given me every opportunity to lose hope and faith. Now, when I get into such places, I have to stop and “check-out” (the check-outs can be a trek across the world or just a brief drop out) to a place where I stop listening and hearing what everyone else believes I should be doing – or better yet trying to figure out a way that I can “fit in”. I don’t want to fit in. I don’t want to listen to everyone else.
My resolve is to keep leaning in and seeing what pops out on the other side. A funny thing happens when you embark upon this journey – you meet other like minded people who are leaning.
So, why not, lean in and create something – create a life that you can be proud of!
In Great Gratitude, Brandi J.