I’m in a good place.
A great, healthy place. I place full of laughter and contagious energy, and I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. Things were never really that bad either, I think it just comes down to how you look at it. I consider the last ten years of my life, as a meaningful chapter of my existence, where life decided to ask me some pretty heavy questions.
And she posed some doozies.
In March of 2007 my mother died. I married my beautiful Erin at the end of September, of that same year. On my birthday in 2009, my dad went to the hospital, and was gone within a week. Two months later, Harrison was born. Irena was born two years later. And the rest is a sleepless, tearful, but a joyful blur.
During the last ten years, life went on as usual.
I went to work. I was a husband. A father. And your trench coat wearing, dirty joke teller. (I fill a need, ok?)
But what I can see clearly now, and what I couldn’t see back then, is that up until that heavy curtain was finally lifted, I wasn’t alive, I just kept existing. I did very little living.
I went to work. I did what I had to do. I done, whatever needed to get done.
It wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t seeing the endless nights I spent vegetating on the couch watching whatever presented itself at the time. I didn’t hear the infinite number of invitations to play with my children. I was too tired to hear their whispers and cries for my love and attention. I didn’t see the heavy burden I was asking my wife to carry alone for so many years.
I put on a smile. Showered and shaved. I gently closed the door behind me, while I went to work, blissfully ignoring the fog of pessimism and sadness that was stifling my tired spirit.
At the Make Your Mark event at the end of the year, I received some timely spiritual and emotional oxygen.
I thought I was going for some business advice, but that son of a bitch Colin Sprake, lied to me. Instead of teaching me some easy marketing tricks, he gave me my life back.
Just ask my wife. She is still waiting for the day my enthusiasm wanes, but prays that things never return to normal.
For some reason, during those three day, I jumped of the cliff, and made my decent toward the cold and dark waters. My entire nature screamed at me not to go.
I dared to leap, without hesitation or thought.
I leapt, and in turn, life rewarded me with new strength of purpose.
The rest is just digging ditches.
It definitely took some courage to check in at that Hotel by the airport. I took everything I had to arrive with an open mind. I can’t tell you how man y times I came up with compelling reasons why it was more important for me to do something else.
It took some financial sacrifice as well (or investment) to take three unpaid days off work, instead of spending that money on an inclusive get away, or perhaps using that money to shave down some debt.
I sincerely hope you find your own deep dark waters. I hope leap and do something that scares you.
These will not be big moments. They will be super small.
You will leap when you stop bitching about the rain. Looking at your debt. Gossiping.
Instead. Get some exercise. Take a step. Take another. Take some more the next day.
Life is a dance, not a race.
You don’t want to finish early, and stand, alone, watching all the other grade eight students enjoying themselves. There are too many people watching. We need to start living.
Say no to a home baked cookie, at least once in a while.
Most of all.
Set a goal. Write it down. Divide it into manageable chunks. Come up with obstacles that are already gathering momentum to destroy your vision. Plan for those obstacles. Overcome them when they arrive. Dig your ditch. Work hard. Get to your goal and celebrate your achievement, but for only one day. Celebrate it with gusto.
Now get back to work and set a new goal.
The dark waters are indeed cold and deep, but only when you waste your time staring, forever wondering, what if?
I hope you find the courage to jump.
Don’t wait too long. Act quickly. Just jump.
I promise you one thing, that you cannot understand from your safe vantage point of fear and trembling.
If you jump, the ocean will claim you for its own.