The season of fall has been an incredibly humbling experience in 2016. For so many different reasons outside of the typical.
I began this year confident in being able to step outside my comfort zone and actually put forth an effort to do more than just go about the daily routine. Not saying that I was ever complacent. My schedule is too hectic to make that claim. But I think that I got a bit too comfortable and fell off of attempting to make steps toward my dream of becoming a published working author. I was willing to put it on hold; and there’s no such thing as a free opportunity to accomplish your dream. You have to go for it. They say it takes ten years of work to become an overnight success. Well, I’m attempting my first one now and I hope to make more strides by this time next year.
I also had the opportunity to travel not once but twice outside the country to the Caribbean and to Malaysia. I had an incredible time on both trips; and had such a great shifting in perspective opening up to a variety of cultures different from mine. The experiences I gained on these excursions meant the most to me. But outside of the locale itself, it was the people who brought forth the most interesting aspects. The sharing of stories. The mutual attempt to understand one another. It’s interesting being out of your element and simply existing in another.
People are the theme of this week for me. Being the day before Thanksgiving it’s very apropos to say that. But it’s really true. I attempted to do a bi-weekly ‘Sources of Inspiration’ column on things in my life that helped to shape some aspect of who I am, primarily from a creative standpoint. But the schedule fell through and I couldn’t keep the topics going like I wanted to. But I think this topic would be relevant to something like that. You honestly never know where your next batch of inspiration will come from. Outside of the books that I read, the media that I consume, and even the video games that I’ve played in the past, the people around me are very important to that growth. My submission to my first writing contest was based on an offhand conversation I had with a coworker and her process of coming to terms with the health complications of her mother. It became an uplifting Christmas story set in a post-Earth society that took place underground.
Sounds like a doozy right? Aspects of it were definitely science fiction. But at the core were the same human elements central to all of us. No matter how fantastical the setting, we all still grieve. That won’t change; and I wouldn’t have even considered that without having that conversation.
Long story short, nurture your connections with others. Not just your family and friends, which is important. But every interaction. There are people in all of our lives who we don’t like or rub us the wrong way but we’re forced to occupy the same space. Figure out of way of doing so and still get something meaningful out of it.
No matter your age, be like a sponge and take it all in. Even with strangers. It doesn’t mean that all information you receive will be true or even useful. But that one grain hidden in all that mud may be essential down the road; and there’s no amount of money that can substitute that.