“All the pressure and the weight they tryin’
To make explanations about why we ain’t live up to expectations
I know you expect greatness but
Allow me to tell you the truth
Great is when you master doing you”
~ Jon Connor, Still Here (While you were sleeping)
I suppose it’s safe to say that I’m back after a two month hiatus. In that time, I’ve changed jobs, moved away (again!) and met a ton of new people. Needless to say, life is good. I’m steadily taking strides to become the person I envisioned when this philosophy shift took place. The list has bathed in the Lazarus pit and I’m prepared to topple it with reckless abandon. I’m not exactly sure where to begin here, but I’ll take a stab.
This commercial woke the sleeping lion within. It resonated and reminded me of my purpose. You know the old adage, “you must do the things that others won’t do, in order to have the things tomorrow that others won’t have”. I partially agree with that statement. You can be all about tomorrow, but remember today is just as important. Don’t forgo your youth for a shot at the proverbial pie in the sky. It may never come and if it does, you may not be able to enjoy it. My good friend, Mel and I discussed these topics over pints of stout and a game of Tetris. She’s a beautiful soul that just gets it. The main cusp of our conversation was, “why wait?” What are you waiting for? When this conversation arises, you’ll hear the individuals that frequently spew a plethora of excuses.
“Well, I can’t because…”
“That would never work out because…”
“I know so and so who tried that and failed, it’s not a good decision”
The list goes on like a medieval scroll of the towns grievances. One of the great parts of my life is defying what people’s expectations are. I live in a neighbourhood surrounded by houses ranging from 1.5 to 4 million dollars and people fret over how I would make ends meet with rent that almost equalled some people’s mortgage.
“I’ll make ends meet like I always have”
Instead of fretting over the possible mortgage I could have, I tie my laces tighter and remember – “That is not your path”. I’ll be honest, my determination and strength of character was called into character over these last two months. I almost lost my way and this move, but was helped up…with a little help from my friends. When I signed my lease in early February, I became another person. It felt like I would dawn the salt and pepper look earlier than my years. It wasn’t a good feeling, I was stressed and uncommonly so. My belief in providence suplexed me back to reality and it was perpetuated by new people.
A shy hostess with a Colgate smile feverishly scribbled on numerous pages of paper, well past her shift. I make it common practice to introduce myself to everyone I work with. I met her earlier that day and the bar was quiet, so I asked her “what are you writing?” She quickly gathered her papers and nervously peered at me.
“Oh? Excuse me. I thought you were working on your orientation handbook, I was going to help you out.”
“No. I just like to get my thoughts out when I think too much.”
“Oh yeah? Me too. I write a blog.”
Her nervous coat of armour dissipated like acid to rust, what remained was a smile of excitement. We spoke about our dreams and books we’d read. This girl was a life lister and more importantly she was a free spirit, not unlike Mel and myself. A feeling of elation warms my heart when I meet a kindred spirit. We spoke for about thirty minutes and I let her read my dream book. This was a young woman who would make giant waves in life and I was proud of her. I am a decade her senior and for her to connect the dots so young is remarkable.
“I’d rather die at 40 and live an extraordinary life rather than follow the traditional path.”
She reiterates a tearful conversation she had with her father. The words choke out as she tells me and I spot it right away – passion. After a discussion with her, I know my journey needs to be reignited.
“We work and work and work to make money. When we don’t have money we stress about money. There’s no time for enjoy”
Closing bar not only leaves me drained, but also leaves me without TTC options. I live a short fifteen minute drive away from work and Ahmed is a cabbie that chills outside awaiting late night departures. I enter the cab, back seat style, (apparently the front seat suburban style is frowned upon). Ahmed made the above comment during an in-depth discussion with me. I completely agree, one of my boys works like a mule and by the end of the week – the money’s gone and he’s too exhausted to do anything. I feel for him and often think of ways to help propel him out. This is what Ahmed was speaking about, after he drops me off. I tip him and he begins to turn the cabbie around.
“Hey Que, you work late nights, right? I’m going to come and see you for a drink.” He extends his right hand.
“I’ll see you then, Ahmed.” I return the gesture.
I was tripping for a while, stressing and generally unravelling. These people and a host of notable mentions led me away from the edge. There’s a million quotes and maxims that I subscribe to, but this one fits the bill like no other.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on” ~ Robert Frost
Carpe Diem Que