February 13, 2012

Why Aren't YOU There Yet?

"Just do it."

Thank you, Nike, for putting it so plainly.

Back in October, at the French consulate in LA (more like a corner office, NOT the glorious embassy I imagined), I met a retired couple who was going to move to France this spring. When I asked them what brought them to this decision, the woman said, "Because we didn't travel when we were young like you." I expressed that it was "better late than never," which is definitely a life truth.

But what that lady said reminded me yet again how fast the time goes and we must fill it when we have it - not when we hope we will.

I understand some people just aren't wired for change and jumping into the unknown, but I think I know more people who are wired for it, but hang back from the action because of fear, apathy, or the "I'll do it later" mentality.

Fear, apathy, and procrastination can ruin our lives, and they are only as powerful as WE let them become. But these things don't just ruin our lives - they steal it away from us.

Adventures in San Francisco
Last year, on my jaunt to Geneva, I wrote in my journal: "At some point you just have to figure it out and DO IT. Maybe it will be about being decisive, committed, and idealistic - at least fail trying to do really cool things - it's a way better story than failing at something lame! Ask questions - even the ones that don't make sense or seem completely unanswerable. Then either find the answers, find someone who knows the answers, or make up new answers! Why not shoot the moon? There's never been anything really wrong with being a dreamer - especially when your dreams come true."

It's all about finding your "spark." I have started using this term ever since I read a blog last week about the movie Dolphin Tale. I may never see this movie, but I really liked what Jared (the blog author) had to say about what he learned from it. Read Parenting, Dolphins, Sparks and that's pretty much it to see for yourself.

I am resolutely anti-apathy, which may explain why I never had problems finding sparks in my life. I have my energetic Mom and committed Dad to thank for this. I find life completely fascinating, and I am interested in so much of it! But my main sparks are Jesus Christ, laughing, playing sports, writing, action photography, dessert, and traveling.

Victorious view of the castle in Salzburg
I tell everyone to travel. Travel, travel, travel, TRAVEL! I believe it is a crucial life experience that can be repeated but never replicated, thus making it an ever-growing and ever-learning endeavor.

However, I do understand that travel is not the spark for everyone. For some, like my whimsical sister, Lindsay, the spark of adventure is found in creating lovely things: songs, music, art on walls, food, cards, gifts. For others, like my beautiful friends, Jenn and Kevin, the dream is in their home life: parenting, raising a tall family, planting roots and watching them grow. And there are still those whose spark is found in fostering change, helping people, conquering the great outdoors, and thousands of other things.

Scaring the locals in Oostende
If you are currently searching for a spark, I do suggest trying travel on for size. You can learn about how other people choose to live, believe, and experience the world.  It's something you can go back to, time and time again, and smile because your memories are yours to keep forever.

Stay fascinated, people! There's great stuff all around us!

Questions for the Comment Land below!
What's your spark?
What might be holding you back from it?
How can you share your spark in a positive way with the world?