The time is now....

Well check me out, doing what I said I was going to do.  I'm writing on the LAPTOP.  You know "the" laptop?   The scary, "full of expectations" laptop?  I'm putting that fear to bed right this minute.

I have a friend with this big snake tattoo on his arm and he told me he got it because he spent his whole life afraid of snakes and he wanted to conquer that fear so he inked one right on his body to look at every day. I, however, will not be getting a tattoo of a laptop OR a snake, but I'm going to make this one baby step to quiet the voices.

I was cruising through tumblr or Pinterest last week and I came across this little gem.
Whether or not you believe in Buddha as a religious leader or not is irrelevant.  The dude had some pretty profound gems.  Like this one.

Funny thing, and I'll blame it on being tired, the first time I glanced at it, I was kind of a little bit like, "I don't get it."  and then in a nanosecond came the "Holy Shit."  And I haven't been able to get this out of my mind since the day I laid eyes on it. 

Because there is no greater truth. 

I don't know if it's getting older or what it is but occasionally I allow myself to think about my own mortality and I think this is most definitely an Italian thing, but sometimes I even think about my own funeral.  More specifically, if I died tomorrow, what would people say about me?

"Wow she really knew how to stock groceries that one."
"April was a really great manager."
"April really cooked a mean lasagna."
"April could tear it up on the dance floor when Justin Timberlake came on!"

No thanks.

So I think about what I would WANT people to say about me after I'm gone.

"No one loved like she did.  No one loved greater than she did.  No one gave more than she did."
"She raised wonderful children who loved her immensely"
"She gave back in countless ways"
"She had fun."  "She knew how to live."  
"She knew peace."

OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH kay, I may not attain that last one, but I can sure die trying, right?  (Pun intended)

The trouble is, we think we have time.

I have this really cool book that my friend Renae got me 2 years ago.  It's been doing a spectacular job of collecting dust.  


You know the drill.  If I sit down and write about where I want to be 5 years from today, I will have to start DOING.  I will have to face the bone crushing fears. 

So I started anyway.

And there' this page that basically tells you to write down your craziest dream.  As in, if money, time, talent, etc were NO OBJECT.... what would you be doing with your life?

Ready?  Brace yourselves.

Sing on Broadway.  (This does not surprise those of you who actually know me)

Sooooooooooooo I'm sharing this with a friend.  And this isn't really the type of thing I "share," because it's pretty freakin out there and those of you who have heard me sing know that all too well.  

But my friend looks at me as if I just said, "My dream is to go to Kroger and buy a loaf of bread."  And then says ever-so-casually, "totally do-able."  Me -- insane laughter.  Friend, "No  really.  Go take vocal lessons, learn how to sing, and get your ass on Broadway."  Me, "But I will get cast as one of a thousand background singers in Les Miz."  Friend, "So?  Will you be singing on Broadway or not?"  Me, "But I want to be Elphaba."  Friend, "So be Elphaba."  Me -- more laughter.  Friend, "Don't you think Elphaba started somewhere?"

Don't worry, I'm not crazy enough to believe that any amount of vocal training  could land me the role of Elphaba.  (Collective sigh heard throughout the blogosphere).  But it got me thinking about dreams and goals and the things we aspire to and the "I wish I had dones" in our lives.  My dad turned 76 this week.  And all my life I've heard him say, "I always wished I had learned how to play the guitar."  And he never did.  What a simple thing.  What I should have gotten him for his birthday was a guitar and guitar lessons.  Because I don't care if he's 76 years old, he's got plenty of time to learn to strum a tune.

The trouble is, we think we have time.  

As a society we've become a bit obsessed with the idea of a "bucket list."  My question to you is this, why are we WAITING to check things off of our bucket list?  Someone asked me why I spent so much money to go see P!nk in the pit last year.  "Because it's on my bucket list and and I'm living RIGHT NOW."   Why am I waiting to take vocal lessons?  Because I don't have money?  Time?  Excuses.  Because I'm going to blink my eyes and be celebrating my 76th birthday and still saying "I wish I knew how to sing just.one.song."

If your dream is to go to Italy, why aren't you going?  Because you think you have time?  Because you think you can go next year?  Because you're just too busy right now or you don't have the money stashed away?  If your dream is to learn how to play the guitar, why aren't you?  If your dream is to practice yoga, why aren't you?  I know why I wasn't.  I was afraid.  Yup, I was afraid of yoga.  I was afraid of being in that studio with all those women in their cute outfits and not being able to do all the moves they can do.  Guess what?  After four months, I still can't.   Guess what else?  No one cares.  No one goes to the yoga studio to look at me.  Yoga has been one of the best things I have EVER done for myself and it took me 41 years to figure it out.  Now I say "Why did I wait 41 years to give myself, my body, and my mind, this amazing gift?"  Because I had a laundry list of excuses.   I didn't have time, I couldn't afford classes, I wasn't limber enough, my legs are too long (yes, I actually said that).  Guess what?  I found the time, I found the money, and  have given myself that gift and I am a better person for it.   Stay tuned to find out how yoga is changing my life in more ways than I ever realized....

What's your dream?  A motorcycle?  Go buy one.  Open your own business?  Do it.  Learn a new language?  Rosetta Stone makes it easy now.  Learn how to throw pottery?  Find a class. Want to learn how to cook?  Ask a friend who is a great cook to help you.  You've always wanted a tattoo?  Go get one.  You want to learn how to paint?  To sew?  To work with wood?  Take a class.  Go on YouTube.   I'm serious!  My friend's daughter taught herself how to play piano by watching YouTube videos.    You don't have to be the MASTER,  you just have to allow yourself the gift of trying.  The gift of answering the call, of hearing the voice and succumbing to the passion in your heart.

The real question here is simple,

What, exactly, do you have to lose?

Never try, never fail.

My friend Henry Ford said it best, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right."

The trouble is, you think you have time.

My friends, the time, YOUR time, is RIGHT NOW!


Comments

  1. April, this is an amazing post that really spoke to me. Coupled with something I came across again yesterday (you are exchanging 24 hours of your lifetime for this day; make it worth it), clearly this is a poignant message right now for me. Thank you for so bravely sharing your dreams and also for laying down the challenge for all of us to act now! :)

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