What do you want to be when you grow up?

Something my best friend sent me today that brightened my day 🙂

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Live. Love. Laugh.

This is to invite all of us, who often get caught up in the daily grind that we forget to live. Do we live to work or do we work to live? Remember to flirt with the world and smile at the simple things … Laugh until your tummy hurts and love with all your heart… Because it is often times, not how fast and where you ended up, but it is the journey that will be the most memorable and valuable…

It was never a race

Notice the falling of the leaves my dear,
the seasons must be changing

Look at the way that leaves fall,
Isn’t it slower than how a rock would rudely meet the earth?

Admire their gentle greeting to the ground as the modest width of the leaves fight gravity rather gracefully…

Remember my dear, the rock beat them to the ground
and landed with a disgruntled thump

While the leaves
Flirted with the summer breeze,
Danced to the chirping of the morning birds,
Showed off a twirl to the crickets’ beats
All before they tickled the stable soil
as they carefully let you and I know that it’s time for clear skies and dragon flies

Remember to live, my dear,
like the patient leaves and take your time
to tell your story to the world
and gently reach the end with a purpose

Because all the rock ever did was
too quickly
give in to the heavy force
so fast
Straight to the ground
so loud
with the dramatic fall
too soon
before it lost all its velocity

and we never knew why it was there because

it forgot to tell his story.

Take a chance…

This past weekend, I was headed down to San Diego, and while I dropped in at the gas station to pick up a bottle of water, I found myself drawn to the “SuperLotto” sign. Buying lottery tickets is honestly not my thing because I know it is very unlikely for me to win, but once in a blue moon that 0.0000237832 % chance of “…but what if”  makes me give up the buck in my hand.. and this was one of those rare occasions. (Actually, speaking of moons, it was supposed to be the “super-awesomely-big-and-amazing-full-moon” day on May 5th due to perigee on full moon happening on the same night or something, and I thought that might maybe be a sign for me to buy a lottery ticket. By the way, that “super-awesomely-big-and-amazing-full-moon was falsely advertised and that shit was not much bigger than any other normal full moons in my opinion. “Super-awesomely-big-and-amazing” should never be falsely advertised, especially for the moon and a few other things in life.)

Anyways, I bought the lottery ticket Saturday and I asked the cashier, “what time will I know that I won?” and he said “after 8 pm tonight!” But that night, 8 pm passed without notice as we started taking shots of tequila, but once every 3 shots or so, I found myself wondering “I wonder if my lottery ticket won…” and here and there, I drifted off to mini fantasies about moving to Spain and buying a boat and…

Okay, so anyways, I got wasted that night, and before I knew it, it was Monday. So fast forward, I totally forgot to check my lottery ticket all weekend. Today, before work, while doing the dreading Monday thing, I was like “oh shit, I’d be so pissed if I worked an extra day when I didn’t have to… let me check my numbers before I head out to work juuust in case I won”… so I went online to check my numbers, and to my absolute no surprise, none of my numbers matched. Satisfied that I at least got the peace of mind that I am not working an extra day when I don’t have to, I went off to work and had myself a great Monday.

9 hours later, I came home after work, a little bit tired, and I went to my room. The first thing I noticed as I entered my room was, oh there it was, my lottery ticket that I had left on my counter of my drawer before work when I checked the numbers.

For some reason, it made me smile.

I was never really disappointed that I didn’t win the lottery to tell you the truth. I don’t even know that I ever bought that ticket TO win. What I really bought was the evidence that I took the chance and a few minutes of hope and seconds of fantasies of what it could be if I won. Maybe even a few discussions of, “so what would you do if you won this?” that comes with every ticket that I’ve ever purchased. But at least my chances of winning a lottery existed at all versus if I hadn’t purchased the ticket which would have left me with zero chance. (What really depresses me is people who talk about what they would do if they won a million dollars, yet never even buy a lottery ticket. )

What I am saying is this… For me, I smiled when I saw the lottery ticket this evening when I got home, even though I knew I didn’t win because it was a reminder that I took the chance. To me, this was more than a lottery ticket now. It has become a symbol to remind me that I should take the chance on whatever I dream of, because at the end of the day, it makes me smile that I was in the pool of people who could have won, rather than the rest of the people who had absolutely zero chance to win and never even bought a ticket.

I hear people tell me their dreams, but always followed with “I know that would never happen, but…” For instance, when I interview high school students at work (as an admissions counselor), they tell me they want to be the next best chef or a fashion designer, but they go “…but I know that would never happen.” I remind them that they are young, everything is possible, but they have to take the chance for it to ever have the possibility of happening.

Humans are intelligent creatures with the special abilities to have hopes and dreams… we can imagine things out of the immediate reality, but things in our desired futures.  But we get caught up with fears of what could happen, worries of what might not go right, and insecurities that hold us back from giving those hopes and dreams any chances of happening at all. Let the lottery ticket remind us that taking the chance creates a huge difference between zero chance of winning versus having some chance of winning. If you want to be the next JK Rowling, start writing. If you have a crush on a guy, ask him out. If you want to be rich, create a business plan. Because at the end of the day, what’s the worst that could happen? You practice writing… or you find out he has a girlfriend… or you involve yourself in writing a business plan that could inspire something better. What will matter is not whether your end goal met your expectations, but it is that you know you took the chance. And remember, taking the chance gives you the space to hope and dream even bigger, and the journey is so worth it.

And I thank the un-winning lottery ticket for giving me this time to reflect on the importance of taking a chance at life. The dollar was so worth this mini writing and thinking journey… 🙂

Happy non-millionaire Monday.