As humans, we make lists. A lot of them.
We need to get married x-number of years after college or once we’ve been promoted to a certain level, be pregnant by this age, have our first child by that age, buy a house in this decade, retire within that decade.
We make lists that outline the places to where we’re supposed to travel each year, the things we’re supposed to learn by each birthday, and the annual salary that we’re supposed to earn each review period.
As humans, we also wait. A lot. We wait in lines, we wait in traffic, we wait our turn, we wait for our chance to shine.
Sometimes lists and waiting collide, and all we see is a ticking clock.
“I’m _____, and I haven’t done _________ yet.” (Fill in the blanks with your age and a goal, respectively.)
I’m 36, and I had an idea tonight. It’s a good idea, and it’s an idea I believe in. It’s one of those ideas that one million and one people can say no to, and I’ll keep pitching the hell out of it…because that’s what belief is all about. That’s what dreams are all about. And that’s what middle fingers are for.
When you believe in something, you obsess over it. You see the finished product in your mind’s eye, and you want the world to see it, too. You think back to things that have moved you — things you’ve seen, music you’ve heard, people you’ve encountered — and you hope that someday, just maybe, your life is a reflection of everything you’ve seen. You hope your presence and your offering knocks people down with humility, and you hope it inspires them to get back up and take action: to give back, to give in, or just — simply — to give something. Anything.
As humans, we can feel like failures when we don’t achieve something by a certain age, or we can let our life evolve as it may — with our loving nudges and guidance, of course. Tonight, for the first time ever, I have an idea that I believe in — that I know will take flight — and one of my first thoughts isn’t, “Oh, well…it would’ve been nice to accomplish this 10 years ago.”
Ten years ago I wouldn’t have had the experience to come up with this idea.
Ten years ago I wouldn’t have had a heart developed enough to come up with this idea.
Ten years ago I wouldn’t have had the time to think about this idea.
Ten years ago I wouldn’t have wanted to share this idea. But now I do — and I’ll share it with people who can make it rise up. People with wings. People akin to angels.
For age, for wisdom, for experiences both trying and gratifying, I am thankful. Thank you, world, for the wisdom that has gotten me to today. Thank you, mom and dad, for the love, guidance and watchful eyes that have gotten me to today. Thank you, God, for the heart bestowed upon me for reasons unknown — because it has gotten me to today.
For today, for dreams and for the dream of giving back to humanity, I am most thankful.