Here, David stands in front of our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and with this post I’m nearing the completion of some 41 years of photos I’ve been posting on my blog over the past couple of years.
I postponed, posting my early writings a few years ago, in order to first tell my story through photos, and now as I draw a close to this chapter of posting my photos, I’ll soon return to posting my writings once again.
These photos serve to tell anyone at a glance, so many small details about our family and of how and where we’ve lived along the way, which provide both background and authenticity to the story I tell through in my writings.
My story really isn’t that different than anyone else’s, except for the fact, I lived my life very deliberately and purposefully in the pursuit of my hopes and dreams – and succeeded in documenting it all along the way.
The ‘success’ of one’s life, isn’t measured by appearances, positions, fortune or fame…but in the journey, meaning and purpose you’ve committed to through your life along the way.
Each of us has a different calling and purpose for our lives, and much of our early years, are often focused with struggling to determine what that calling and purpose is for our lives, and how to find and live it.
I tell the story of my ‘interior life’ from a very young age, of a world around me that didn’t match up to my expectations or beliefs, and about how I couldn’t reconcile how things should be, with the reality of my experience.
So my ‘internal life’ was one of questions, doubts, anguish and turmoil that I experienced as I determined to go my own way from a very young age, and the frustrations of attempting to live the life I’ve always imagined it could be.
In so many ways, my ‘internal life’ remains discontented to this day as I continue this internal dialogue of mismatched perceptions, imagination and reality…of how things are…and of how things should be in the world around us.
As an idealist, I look at our lives and at Earth from a ‘distance,’ pondering this oasis we all live on as it orbits the sun – and simply can’t understand why we haven’t built a kinder, gentler and more peaceful world…in the limited time we all have together in this world.
I grew up watching the events of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the ’60s displayed on the evening news every day after school…and couldn’t reconcile why the world was the way it was…and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t evolving into something much better than this…and still can’t.
We’re all born into a world that we have no control of or authorship for, and weighing all I saw and felt around me, I couldn’t and wouldn’t accept the ‘status-quo’ as an acceptable reality…and was determined to search for the life I always imagined I’d have.
I wanted a ‘new reality’ on almost every level, as I interacted with or observed the world around me, always discontented with the options I was presented with or that were made available to me at the time.
It is this disenchantment and frustration that I write about, about options and choices I didn’t want to pick from or to call my own…the ‘shoe’ simply didn’t fit my imagination…and I wasn’t about to take ownership of them either.
So I went my own way looking for adventure and authenticity, giving up the comforts of a middle-class life for the unknown – often without a safety net to catch me if I fell.
Adventures are times of discovery and serendipity, because adventures rarely take you where you think you need to go, and like Bilbo Baggins, become ‘unexpected journeys’ on so many different levels.
I originally wanted a life of adventure and travel and found it in spades, but I really found everything else I never even knew I was looking for in my life or ever hoped to find.
There’s always a thread running through our lives that describes us and tells our stories – a byline, tagline, theme, brand or a message – that summarizes the life we’ve lived from start to finish.
It’s best to know your own message and live it purposefully along the way, instead of letting someone else write and inscribe it on a tombstone once it’s all said and done – Carpe Diem, seize the day – while you still can!
I often wished while growing up, that there was someone or something that I could identify with and reference my life to, there was no internet back then, so I had to resolve my life myself…on my own terms…which I did through my writing.
In telling my story, I’m giving others of any age, the support and encouragement of knowing that they’re not alone in their struggles…because other people have been there too, and succeeded against all odds, when the world around them didn’t make any sense and they longed for something better!