Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ten Years

I watched a TV show last Sunday night where a group of five college friends got together for a reunion of sorts. They spent the weekend talking about their past dreams, their goals, their ambitions, and where they were now in relation to all those things. Then some murders happened and there was a bunch of flashbacks and one of them stole one of the other's identities, it was all very confusing! But the reunion part of the show hit a nerve and was eerily relevant to my life that weekend.

Saturday night was our tenth annual Jamaican Party. What an awesome night! Some people said it was the best one yet. Everyone was dressed up (or down in some cases,) Ell's cooking was amazing as usual, the Red Stripe was chilled just right, the games were so funny, all in all a fantastic night.

Ten years. Wow! That means that many of us at the party will have our tenth wedding anniversary this summer. (You know, the eleven weddings in six months; nine in three months.) On the TV show, the characters were upset with themselves and each other that they hadn't lived up to their potential. And even more upset that they had compromised on the beliefs and standards they promised they'd never waver on. Since I dissect everything and try to apply it to my life, I started wondering if our 11 couples had done the same compromising. Are we living the lives we said we'd live? Have we stuck to our convictions in the face of all adversity? Has having children and mortgages and careers made us boring or are we still the crazy kids we were: on fire for love and faith and hope?

Even though almost no one from that circle of friends reads this rag, I'm not going to go down the list and say who's changed the most and who the least. But I will say that many of them are shells of the people they once were. Their lives are shells of the dreams they once had. Few are still on fire for anything. And most have morphed into at least one thing or another they swore they'd never be. I'd like to say I'm not one of them, but I know I am. Why'd we quit? Why'd we give up? And only after ten years? I could see if we were old and had taken a lifetime to change, but only ten years? Pathetic.

I swear I'm not gonna let it get worse. I may have to live a boring life b/c of our finances and my devotion to getting Ell through school, but I will not stop dreaming. I will not stop hoping and praying. I still a little fire down inside of me I refuse to let go out. I refuse to sit down after the 20th Jamaican Party and feel like I did Sunday night. Not about myself. It won't happen.


Blogger kimw said...

Your dream of doing the Trail is still alive and kicking, so don't be so hard on yourself!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Wow, '97 was good year. We too shall celebrate the big 10 this year.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Papa D said...

We will celebrate 35 in May.

Passion is a choice, and it takes a considerable amount of time and energy to keep it alive. People stop because it is hard work to keep feeding the fires of passion. They also quit because they begin to believe that the ordinariness of life is OK. They live in an acceptable state of discomfort and dissatisfaction instead of paying the price to maintain their passion and reach for excellence.

Life isn't easy. And sometimes it throws some really ugly stuff your way and it is REALLY easy to believe that you just can't make it. But trust me when I say that passion - the very thing they believe they can live without - is the ONLY thing that will help them find their way through the worst.

Hurrah, Sam! Refuse to accept that it is OK for the fire to fade. Fight every urge to give in to complacency and compromise. As Ephesians (sorta)says - After you have done everything you can possibly do and the battle still rages, then just stand there! Refuse to sit down or run away. Refuse to accept that you've been dealt a bad hand and you just have to live with it. STAND!!!

OK, No more preaching. Good for you, both for keeping the fire alive and, maybe even more so, for having the courage to challenge yourself to even examine your life in such a way. Most don't, and that's half the battle and most of the reason they fail.

Love ya,

PS. From my wheelchair and the pain I just topped 44,000 words of a new book. Just in case anyone was wondering if I had accepted defeat! des

3:48 PM  

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