You know you’re not done living when you wake in the morning with crystalline thoughts like “I should open a bakery” or “I am going back to college and getting my MFA” or “I want to have an orchard of pecan and olive trees”. And then you do level two scouting: driving around and looking at parcels of land or reading about the various low residency masters in fine arts programs or the master gardeners workshops at the local university.
My very dearest and honestly longest and truest friend is moving away. It is a fairly unexpected and rapid decision triggered by her recently unemployed, highly educated husband. He has found a smashing job in Nashville and so……they move. And moving away from a town that has been home for 20 years and leaving behind your two longest friends (and the job you share with them) is a bit intimidating. Living a full and vibrant existence means you never cease being willing to TRY. While there are no guarantees in life, you can only reach the next place if you leave the current place. You can only achieve the next level if you move. We assume that progress is forward movement but sometimes it is lateral or backwards – a corrective maneuver to get us to that place we NEED to be. The minute we close ourselves off to trying, to reaching, to risking….is the day we welcome death. It might take decades more to actually leave the planet, but for all intents and purposes, we are already gone.
I pray I never stop risking, never stop reaching, never close myself off to life. I hope to always be open and welcoming to those possibilities that might bring me exactly what is necessary or desired. Maybe what arrives is something I knew nothing about and had no forethought or demand, yet discover it is the magic key to what was missing. If I close up and wall myself off, nothing will find me, like an undeliverable letter chances will turn back and disappear.
I want my friend to step bravely into this new adventure. I want her to accept that she is not too old to try something outrageous and bold. I want her to challenge herself and her comfort zones. This, my friend, is your grand adventure. And by taking it, you encourage the rest of us to consider our possibilities. How too might we all be more bold and more courageous?