They looked at me and said i don’t know who you are anymore I smiled and replied I may not be who you want me to be but trust me I am exactly who I should be.
We can not walk backwards in time; life is inherently a series of small steps forward and with each step forward, we create memories, some good, some bad, many nondescript. But what so many of us miss is that it’s not the memories but what we do with them that define us. Why? Because no matter what the memory is, it becomes a permanent part of who we are and influences our next step. So embrace your memories because the future is not written, but it is a road of endless possibilities; it’s up to you to seize them.
Life is for the bold, for those unafraid to close their eyes and take a leap with the faith that they will land in success. Sure, you can go through life playing it safe, never taking the risk to reach for that dream that would make you truly happy. But that’s not living; that’s simply existing and make no mistake from the moment you were old enough to decide if you want to live or just exist, society has been conditioning you to believe that refusing to take a risk, never reaching for your dreams and playing it safe is the right thing to do. But ask yourself, when you’re old and thinking back on your life do you want to wonder what could have been if only you had taken that leap.
What if I told you that the only person who can take your dreams away from you is yourself. Would you start believing in yourself or keep looking for reasons why you can’t.
You know they’re out there doubting you, laughing at your failures, talking about you behind you’re back while smiling in your face. But no matter how much they doubt you, you keep moving forward in the pursuit of your dreams. The funny thing is none of them ever dared to step off the cliff and believe they could fly. They long ago discarded their childhood’s colorful dreams instead choosing to live a colorless existence as an adult. From afar, many of them appear happy. They have a good job, house, and car, but the truth is that deep down, they despise their day to day life. They periodically think back to those childhood dreams and wonder what if, as they say in Star Trek, bodily went in the direction of those dreams. But you’re not one of them. You see your life as a blank canvass waiting for you to splash those colorful childhood dreams on to it and do what makes you happy. You work hard to achieve that happiness because you know that your dreams don’t merely manifest themselves out of thin air; you believe in yourself and are not afraid to step off that cliff, and when you fly, you know you’ll never have to wonder what if.
As I sat on my deck, I noticed a gentle mist had started, but I didn’t get up. Instead, I sat there admiring the trees and grass. When I was young, there were no trees, no grass to look at. It was just block after block of concrete. That time seems so long ago now, I guess I thought to myself, as the mist turned into a drizzle, I made it. Everyone thought I was living in a dream world, that if I didn’t give up these crazy dreams, I would never amount to anything, and they were all too quick to point out each time I failed, and I failed a lot. But there was one person who believed in me, kept pushing me, and encouraging me never to stop chasing my dreams. That person was me.
For as long as I could remember, I believed that I was born to be unique, to stand out from the crowd. While the masses would march to the drummer’s beat, I would salsa to Tito Puente’s rhythm. Now ironically, the same people who told me I would never make it ask me what my secret of success is. I laugh to myself and tell them I always knew that greatness was in me I just had to work hard, push myself, never give up, reject the fear of failure and not let anyone take away my dreams. Right then, my 6-year-old son called out to me, “Daddy, it’s raining. Come inside.” I looked at him and smiled as I said, “it’s ok, your Daddy never gets caught in the rain because he learned how to soar above the clouds.”
We gather here today to say goodbye, but we do not grieve their departure; we look back fondly and remember that were it not for them, we would not possess the strength and the courage to tackle all the adversity we have encountered and to overcome the many obstacles that have been placed in our way, to move forward with determination and a belief that we will get it done. So while fear and self-doubt are no longer with us, we can now appreciate while we may have been afraid of failure and didn’t believe we could achieve something, we tried, and when we failed and didn’t succeed, we didn’t wither away. We simply tried again, and with each attempt, our fear and self-doubt faded until it had birthed within each of us a belief that we are fearless, and we have no doubt in who we are and what we can achieve.
Just three minutes left, the day’s end rapidly approaches. I’ll allow myself one last look back to mourn what was lost but also to rejoice at what was gained. But only a moment will I take because a new day is dawning and my canvass is blank.
Only two minutes left and uncertainty is all around. What will the new day bring? What if I’m not ready and does it really matter if I am or not? It does not matter move ahead I must because a new day is dawning and my canvass is blank.
Now less than a minute to go the countdown has begun. Ten seconds nine seconds, it is time to pick up my brush their is no looking back now, no fear of what lays ahead, no time to waste because a new day is dawning and my canvass is blank.
Midnight! Time to let my mind run free, let my dreams be my guide, My brush grazes the canvass and it is no longer blank, it starts to come to life. There are no rules now, no boundaries on what it can be only what my mind may think and where my dreams dare say I can go.
A new day has dawned and my canvass is no longer blank.