Life is not measured by the
number of breaths we take,
but by the number of moments
but by the number of moments
that take our breath away.
It is rare for me to get mail, so you can imagine my excitement when I came home from work this week and saw a letter on my bed. I quickly ripped open the envelope to find a "save the date" card for Courtney's wedding (my former boss and amazing friend.) Congrats Cor! I am so happy for you!
For some reason, that "save the date" stirred up some emotions in me and got the wheels turning in my head. It made me think about how our lives are a series of "dates" and important events that often follow a particular order. Babies are born, we celebrate their first birthday, we celebrate their first day of school, darn they grow up fast and now they are graduating from high school and marching to "Pomp and Circumstance", then they are off to college, how four years fly and they graduate from college and get their first job in the "real" world, they meet a nice boy or girl, get married, buy a house, have kids, then the cycle starts all over again and then we die. The Germans refer to it as "the system." My friend Stephanie from work, said that in Germany you have to be part of the system or you will be "lost" and won't get a good job or be successful. In Germany, they put kids on a track in school at a very early age. At age 10 (4th grade), they already decide what type of school the "kinder" will attend and thus determine what type of career they will have as adults. I thank my lucky stars that I was born in the U.S. because I wasn't the strongest student growing up. If I had been on a particular track, I may have never gone to college and had as many opportunities that I have. I am so glad that I was able to work hard and choose my own path.
Many of my friends are celebrating milestones and specials occasions in their lives. Weddings, homes, babies…all very exciting things. But every time I get the exciting news from someone, it makes me realize how different my life is and how I am not part of the system anymore. I was, I definitely was…graduated in the top of my high school class, went to college and graduated Summa Cum Laude, had impressive internships, had a great job and at one point was on the track to a marriage and house. But sometimes the system is broken and it doesn't feel right. Instead of being part of the system, I decided to follow my heart and leave the routine behind. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. And you know what? I am am completely okay with that! I recently decided that I am going to start taking online classes at the South West Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona. I found something that interests me at the school, so I am going to take classes simply because I want to. Just like how I am in Taupo right for an interview for the Mount Rupheau Ski Resort. I need a job, so I thought why not work at a ski resort , get a free season pass and have easy access to something I love to do. And I am happy to announce, that 10 minutes into the interview they offered me a job and I start next week. That means within the next few days I need to pack, find a new place to live and find a mode of transportation. Crazy stuff! So as you see, life isn't about being on a track anymore…it's about dabbling. Life is like a buffet, so why not try a little bit of everything?!
I am sure at some point in my life I may celebrate the "special dates" that Hallmark makes millions on. Maybe I will get married to my life partner in a beachside wedding, maybe I will pop out a couple little monkeys, perhaps I will get my lab and house (or loft) with hardwood floors and brick walls. I am excited about these moments, but I am doing my best to put them into perspective. By that I mean, I have heard so many people say that their wedding day was the happiest day of their lives. I get it, it's your day, you are marrying the one you love and all your loved ones are their to celebrate with you…of course that sounds amazing! As I look back on my life, I have so many days filled with happiness and they weren't necessarily days that I planned for my whole life. The day I climbed La Tour Eiffel with Mindy, the day I tackled Tammy while snowshoeing in Colorado, the day I went sledding with Shelley, MacKenna and my Mom in Wisconsin, the day my Portland family rented a cabin and made our own Christmas stockings, the day Team Bridget/Amy took on Team Marty/Mac in an interpretative dance competition, the random day Marty and I got in the car and drove around the state of Washington for 18 hours just to see the sites, the day my NZ family went hiking and climbed through a mudslide and waded through a river….those were all just random days in my life, but those are my "save the dates."
So save the date, mark it on the calendar, cherish the big moments, but never forget to enjoy the small ones too. Those random days that are filled with laughter, tears and smiles are the ones you will remember and cherish when all is said and done.