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What would you do…?

A friend recently shared this with me, and I have to be honest, I listened to it probably 5 or 6 times, trying to decide on what my answer would really be.  Take a listen before you continue reading…

 

 

Now, with all that being said, I think it’s important to clarify the difference between money being no object and being able to do what you want at no real monetary cost.  With receiving a large sum of finances, either thru inheritance or winning the lottery, there is almost a social obligation to give that money to the community.  To tithe,  help the world, and all of those in need.  Money you didn’t earn needs to be spent in a responsible manner, otherwise you’ll never know the value of it.  If it didn’t require any discipline to attain it, the true meaning of it is lost.

However, if you’re given free reign to pursue your dreams and passions with no social obligation besides being the happiest person you can be, then what would you do?  I know what answer first came to me, but I’ll save that for later.  For now, I think it’s necessary for the world to have people who are able to live like this.  That throw caution to the wind, have no concern whatsoever of what others think of them, and live their lives for themselves.  The world needs people like that to inspire others just as it needs the common-day working class folk to make the world work as it does.  You need sewage and trash men, teachers, engineers, law enforcement, pilots, people in the service industry… But imagine if both of those were one in the same.  If everyone who pursued their dreams were also employed for those passions.  I know people in every trade listed above who do that job because it’s what they love doing.  But I also know countless others who do that same job because it keeps the light on and food on the table while pining away over their lost dreams and “lofty” goals.

I’m just as guilty as most for putting my dreams on hold.  Terrified of tomorrow and what may come if I’m not prepared.  I’ve had an adventurous life, but mainly it’s a mundane existence of selling roofs and living in the gym, only peppered by excursions to these foreign lands to play basketball or travel.  I would do anything to find a way to turn the spice of my life into the every day happenings and the time home being the rare event.

People often ask why I travel so much, if it’s because I’m running from something?  I have several answers, but I like to think I’m not running from anything, rather running towards something.  Maybe myself.  I’ve lived in Cleveland and various suburbs, Atlanta and various suburbs, Philadelphia, Miami, Darwin, Australia, Middlesbrough, England, and spend considerable time in various cities throughout the U.S and maybe another 10 countries scattered around the world.  And in each of these places, I find a little bit more of myself.  Meet new people, soak in new experiences, try different things, and hopefully and ultimately, leave behind some of my bad qualities while picking up a few good.  After every trip, wherever I return, I feel rejuvenated.  Come home feeling like a million dollars because while I was gone, I was left alone to live my life as I saw fit, which in the end, led me to my definition of happiness.

Travel.  Adventure.  Soul-searching.  All of those would suffice to be my answer to the question.  I want to see every inch of this world.  I’m an American, so I do have some trepidation of different countries and some fears have been instilled in me, but no matter where I go, I feel comfortable enough that if I embrace the culture and show respect and an open-mind, I’ll be just fine.  Being bigger than everyone else typically helps too :)   My experiences in Singapore and Vietnam were like no other.  I truly felt like a movie star there, just being grabbed, people running up for pictures, kids wanting to be picked up, people grabbing onto my arms with both hands or touching my beard.  It was a different world.  It was just nice being reminded of how special and unique, not just I am, but everyone is.

The idea of being somewhere no man has been before is something that really excites me.  Being able to walk in the bush in Australia and be told I was the only American to be in certain places.  Climbing a mountain in England knowing most likely, no more than a handful of Americans had been there, let alone even heard of it before.  Adventurous eating in Asia, items that make most people I share the stories with cringe.  Snorkeling and diving in various seas in Asia, crabbing and hand-fishing in Australia, cheese steaks in Philly, coronas on a Miami beach, hot dogs in NYC, lunch w a famous actress in LA, climbing around the roof of a $10,000,000 mansion, playing basketball with some of the most famous athletes in the country… All of them some absolutely amazing things that when my time is done, I hope all of those things flash before my eyes instead of goals I never had the nerve to at least try an pursue.

Basketball has played a big role in me being able to accomplish all of this.  Basketball has not only been my therapy, as it’s an escape from reality, but it’s been my vehicle to get all of this done.  There’s a quote from the Lebron documentary… Use basketball, don’t let it use you.  And I have done that.  I haven’t gotten rich or famous off of it, but I’ve done something better.  I’ve been allowed to live out a life I’ve always dreamed.

But, in full disclosure, when I first watched that video, my initial answer was, ‘Run back to England.’  And try.  I’m a fighter and don’t quit.  Especially when it comes to something that means so much to me.  So, that’s my real answer.  If I had an opportunity to do what I love, it would be to love.  And in that process, from what I’ve seen about love, it inspires you to try and work that much harder for not only your dreams, but for the dreams of an “us”.

I would continue my adventurous life, eat all sorts of weird and bizarre foods, pray in different churches and temples, meditate with different shamans, climb every mountain and dive in every sea.  Travel the world and simply embrace every person I met, hear their story, share their experiences, soak in every last bit of that moment before I move on to the next.  And do it with my Life standing right next to me.

Sincerely, thank you to everyone who has supported me in these decisions.  Not many people understand as most tell me to grow up and get a job, settle down, whatever.  But those who know me, that’s like a death sentence.  So, for all the various forms of support… Thank you!

 

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