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Don’t Reach for the Horizon…Redefine It

A Departure.

Is this a genuinely fascinating word, term and concept or what? There are not only multiple levels, but infinite levels of departure one can engage in and invest their time, money and breaths. Why are there boundless levels? Because life is limitless, even when impossibility stares us in the face with its inhospitable, starry atmosphere in the space above. If there is a glow, our instincts incredibly (and sometimes dangerously) point us due north, south, east and west to horizons before unexplored or thought unattainable.

The intriguing aspect of a random, mysterious departure is the lack of assurance or guaranteed safety. But, when reflecting on the inexplicable thrills of wild and crazy adventurers of today and of past generations, there in lies the rub. Anybody can walk on the sidewalk adjacent to a busy street. However, only a few will voluntarily walk across a tightrope, high above the circus, one gentle sway away from disaster.

Uncertain reactions are at the heart of the rush. Adrenaline isn’t taught, but felt instinctively.

And whether or not you believe it, true serenity cannot be known until one has felt the stinging sensation of the wisdom that states that, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” You can thank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for that inspiration.

Astonishingly, we are only bound to our own imaginations. Our pursuits will change, evolve and intensify. Maybe there are too many variables to make a living out of jumping out of a plane and skydiving, but hey…it sure does look like fun (well, only if there is a rocket strapped to your back).

Wonderful is what is discovered internally when such a leap is taken. Whether it is a terrifying jump or a life-altering giant step, the rewards are boundless. It’s almost as if a light’s been turned on that has been dark all these years. Perhaps you never thought you could or should turn it on in the first place.

A capacity of magnificence maximizes adventurism,

Necessary to ourselves is the thrill of that moment, when our hearts are pounding out of our chest. In those seconds when we think we must be in a cartoon with the roadrunner with an actual heart pounding in and out of our chest, there is a surreal sensation. The realization of what the distinction between being alive and living is is clearly defined. The pulse is unmistakable.

Experience, which represents the 3D lens of life, elevates everything around us to another dimension and forces a new outlook on the people, places and things we thought we knew. There is a vividness in this environment that pops and reveals almost unlike any other medium we can imagine. It contains within itself a life of its own, ready to collide with its curious spectators.

We may look to the sky and the stars or to the depths of the oceans or to the road not taken just steps away, but seeing what’s around the corner is difficult to spot unless one is willing to walk, not look.

Live, or die, in relative terms of course. This reference is for the mind, which ultimately determines what gets done and what doesn’t. Even with a harness, would you walk the tightrope on and to the unknown?

For all of us to fully experience the world on our terms that will fill our own oasis of excitement, we must be willing to react and not think for a second. Just for a second. Just once.

A journey is only ambiguous and limiting until you take it and see what your mind and imagination wanted you to see all this time.

In a couple days, don’t forget to thank your wild curiosity. It just may thank you back with something truly unforgettable and even unbelievable…that is until the moment when you can tell everybody one hell of a story.

Orange is the New Awesome

Today, I am wearing my orange gingham J. Crew button up shirt, black jeans and a pair of faded black Converse high tops. Why? I’m glad you asked.

It was one year ago, on the Friday night before the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park in NYC, when I decided to take a stroll in the early evening around the neighborhood of my hotel when…

Me and Dave Grohl!!!

Yes, that is Dave Grohl! And he voluntarily took the picture himself!

For the full recap of how the entire day/weekend unfolded (and there is more to this story and day), please check it out!

Not only is orange one of my favorite colors (the Dutch), but by wearing this shirt on this day, I was reminded of how great it felt to just wander a little bit. Every now and again, it’s really nice not to have any plans and to simply walk outside and let life happen.

We are living in a world that is increasingly organized and scheduled down to the minute. There are times when it’s really nice to know when something will happen. Having structure is not bad, but there still needs to be plenty of random moments when getting a little lost is okay. Sometimes, that’s when you find what you are really looking for or hoping to find, even if you couldn’t think of it beforehand.

It took me only a matter of minutes to turn off the hotel television and walk outside for a routine stroll around the neighborhood in the early evening before meeting a girl for dinner (check out the link above). Just a casual decision.

And yet, here I am, still writing and thinking about that day one year later.

Forever Yours

I’m quite flashy on the outside and at your disposal with a permanent knowledge of information you’ll need to know for the future. I am dressed top to bottom in the exact right colors. In fact, I’m a very sharp dresser. Although, to be completely honest, I did not dress myself. Still, I look good!

Summer has been very relaxing for me, though ultimately uneventful. However, when Fall rolls around, that is when my world will get really exciting. From this point on, everything will happen at a blistering pace. I’ll know where I’m sitting just minutes before kickoff. There are countless variables in the air and once the flow of the day starts, it’s anyone’s guess as to what could transpire next. I hear the band playing, see the sun shining and feel the warmth of a late September afternoon. Though I’m still felling chilly.

Life is good. In fact, OH-

It’s a long hike to the seats, but what a view! C-Deck is high up, but I can literally see everything on the field below. Without a doubt, this will be a glorious event. Today is what I’ve been waiting for all Summer. Luckily, this is just the beginning.

While I was hopeful I’d see the whole game, I suppose that was me being far too optimistic. Once the small popcorn ran out, my view was severely impaired. The time came when I had to go “below deck.” That’s my code for under the seat. I’ll likely remain here only until the game is over. Then, hopefully, my shelf life will soon begin.

Oh, I’m a souvenir cup from an Ohio State football game…and this is my story.

There is not always a guarantee that I’ll be picked up and taken home, but like my countless plastic brothers and sisters, I prayed before the game that my new friend would see me as more than just a medium Pepsi. I have so much more to offer!

The game ends and the Buckeyes dominated, which is what I gathered from all the cheering. Another great start to the season.

Will she pick me up? Please, please, please! There’s nothing I can do at this point but to sit here with my Scarlet and Grey shield, my trusty 2013 Schedule perfectly labeled and pray. This is the moment of truth. This is it. The next few seconds will change my life forever for better or worse…

She takes a quick “selfie” with the field in the background and a couple other pictures with her friends she met for the game. They were all in a celebratory mood. One step, two steps, three steps. She started her descent down C-Deck. A drip of leftover condensation rolled down my face. A few steps down the stairs, she turned her head and peered over her right shoulder. Thinking to herself, she debates whether or not she needs another cup. After all, last weekend she went to Target and bought lots of colored plastic cups for the school year. Technically, she was all set. After she took an exhaling breath, she gingerly made her way back towards her seat, reached down in the aisle and…

Yes! Yes! Yes! I successfully pulled off one of the most unthinkable things at the end of an OSU football game: a girl picked me up!

The rest of the day was a blur, a magical, life-altering blur.

Throughout the next several years, she and I were together during thick and thin, like that 10-page essay that was written in one evening and one really long night/early morning and when she spent a couple weeks on her couch after she sprained her ankle while she watched movies and television shows of past and present. Through everything, we were together. Despite sitting on a shelf most of the time, I somehow managed to stay on the shelf year after year. Even after slightly fading from those water and soap-soaked adventures in the dish washer, I survived. Every time.

The most special moments for me happened after she got married and had a child. Incredibly, during the need vs. want throwing away fest with her husband early on in her marriage, I stayed. Other precious items were thrown out, but I kept my spot on her shelf.

Back to her son. When she mixed some orange Tang for him in her trusty souvenir cup (me) one Tuesday after picking him up from school, she paused with a nostalgic smile. Turning the cup, it brought back memories of that day when she told all her friends she had gotten engaged the night before on a lake underneath the starry night in her hometown.

She nearly cried.

She then handed the cup to her son, now 5. As he drank it, she continued to reminisce about that weekend and how special it was for her. That game was one of those moments in life she’ll never forget. She’ll remember and cherish everything that was part of it…everything.

Then, as her son was was raising me higher and higher, some song lyrics popped into her head.

Summer’s heat or winter’s cold
The seasons pass the years will roll
Time and change will surely (truly) show
How firm thy friendship…OHIO!

She hugged her son and said “I love you.”

Talk about a Buckeye win for the ages.

Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light Go.

Today’s forecast is calling for more rain here in the Midwest. Splashing around in April Showers have transformed into enjoying random downpours courageously described as some-more showers (Summer  = some more…I tried).

The point is that rain and thunderstorms have not been uncommon this summer. Actually, it’s been quite fitting for any Midwestern city. Six days of the week are normal, but on that seventh day, whichever one it may be, Mother Nature humorously throws us a curve ball from a past or future season.

We never pack our seasonal clothes away here. We’re always prepared with a perfectly nonsensical combination of winter coat and a pair of shorts.

It actually looks pretty cool, but whatever…

While I was thinking about the rain that’s collecting in the heavens, preparing to descend on this clear summer day, my eyes were drawn to my yellow post-it notes on my desk at work. Undeniably eye-catching. There is no chance I will ever not see that bright yellow pad during the day. No chance. It’s like a sign of some sort…a very bright, obvious, conspicuous sign.

Yellow is a color that is unmistakably bold. It is by no means a color of subtlety. It represents warmth, happiness and purpose. Even fate.

It’s really surprising that more people have not embraced this color, especially when it rains.

We’ve all seen the show and know the story by now…