A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.
~ Gina Carey
I was born an only child so I guess you can say I came into this world as an introvert, well, at least that is how I learned to get by for the past 35 years of my life. I spent most of my childhood, teenage, and early adult years as a skeptic. I was freaked out over just about everything. Life was always about playing it safe; risk didn’t exist. I guess you can say that as I got older stepping outside of that box seemed like a wild adventure and one that was worth the risk.
And so I did. I found my “mojo” as some would say. Outside of your average daily college coursework, I learned and taught myself everything I wanted to know. I took up speech classes, acting; performed in the Off-Broadway comedy scene, volunteered, traveled, cooked, learned a new language. I read. I wrote. I studied. I had possibly the most diverse amount of jobs out of all my friends. When a new opportunity came about, I grabbed it. I dove into the unknown just to say that I explored and that I was fulfilling my truth of living outside that box. I traveled through Europe with my boyfriend at the time seeing five countries within 10 days. It was scary and exhilarating.
Fast-forward years later, after starting a new relationship with a man who inspired me to board a plane to Israel, I packed up shop and left for yet another new experience. In 2014, I took my first trip to the beautiful holy land, which little did I know at that time, would forever change my life as a woman, and a Jew. It was in Israel where I allowed my own heartache to transform me, which I then wrote about in what would be my fifth published piece called Finding Love in The Holy Land. I blossomed, and slowly, but surely, I transformed into the woman I always wanted to be.
Three years later, I got back on a plane again for my second trip to Israel. Again, I wrote about it in a published piece entitled My Return to the Holy Land.
No matter where life was at that time, I was still living it. My story has a piece of all of us in its creation. And in each step we take in life, we become closer and closer to the person we want to become. If we do not learn to give up control, we cannot set ourselves free. If we do not choose love, we will always know pain. And if we do not learn to forgive, we stay imprisoned by our own fears, and doubts.
Today, as I breathe life into the very words I type and think back on my journey, I realize that for as many chances as I did take, there were still the ones I didn’t. As my fellow, and dear writer friend Jared says – “passion is caring about something enough to go that extra yard. It is taking something from a normal level to a level that exceeds common practice. When you are passionate about something, it means you care more, and that thing you’re passionate about means more to you”.
So – here is to the naysayers that see scarcity, rather than abundance. The ones that are afraid to take that leap forward, even if you presently feel held back. Whether it be a job, a goal, a place to travel, or being vulnerable and transparent with your heart to another; I hope that you can move far beyond that normal level, and exceed your greatest desires.
I hope you will be wise enough to walk away and let go of that which no longer serves you.
I hope you thank all your struggles because they will make you realize your strengths.
I hope you love without regret.
I hope you give without expectation.
I hope that you dance in the rain when no one is watching. But, most of all, I hope that you live a life beyond the common practice. A life of risk, even knowing there is never a guarantee in this world. Live a life that is overflowing with passion, because that is a life lived in truth. And without our truth, we are not really living.
Live as though life was created for you.
~ Maya Angelou
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