Hey, everyone. I’m posting because I just spoke with my dad a couple of hours ago for about 5 minutes. That might not seem all that unusual, but in this case it’s a bit more significant as my Dad passed away exactly 740 days ago. To say that I’m affected by the experience is an understatement and I’m trying to remain focused upon the message he gave me, which was to “take hold of your dreams and go for it”.
My father was an optimistic and upbeat man, but he was also very traditional and had a very traditional view on things like careers. As an example, he discouraged me from pursuing a career in music (which was good advice – not that I don’t have musical talent, but that I don’t have marketable musical talent, so good call there, Dad). But now I’m strongly considering a career as a novelist and my Dad, ‘the Traditionalist’, while he was still with us would almost certainly have advised me to temper my expectations and to make sure I didn’t jeopardize my ‘day job’ chasing fantastic dreams.
I’m stunned, elated, emotional, (and still missing my Dad terribly), and the intriguing thing to me is the realization that being “on the other side” has somehow changed his perspective. My Dad had big dreams of his own but he always played it safe. He never achieved any of his dreams. Not that he didn’t have big accomplishments, because he definitely did. He is still a giant in my eyes for the things he did. But beyond those things he had dreams that he never pursued. To me, this was the point of his message to me, to not let moments and opportunities pass. Take hold of your dreams and go for it.
Life is hard all over and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the misfortune and frustration we see around us every day. But what we need to keep in our minds as we experience the adversity of life and see bad things happen to good people close to us, is that the events of our lives are not what’s important. That’s not why we’re here. There’s a reason we so often refer to ‘life’s lessons’. Life is school. In life we develop skills and gain knowledge we will need later, and I believe that to be true regardless of what one believes ‘the hereafter’ to be. Bad things hurt but they don’t really harm us. Good things feel great, but they don’t really benefit us. Not really. To echo the words of Shakespeare, all the world really is a stage, and we really are merely players. That doesn’t mean life is insignificant, far from it. It just means that there are lessons in everything and everything that happens here shapes us, but nothing that happens here can really affect us. In adverse times, perspective is a critical commodity, and hope is the currency with which we purchase our destiny.
So, like my Dad told me:
“Take hold of your dreams and go for it.”