define your own

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the
things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 
~ Mark Twain ~


I was struck today by this quote. You may have seen it posted around the internets. I blame my lifelong idealism for having a particular connection to this. I realize now that I HAVE lived my adult/independent life (the most interesting parts) with this line of thinking —  despite many strong opinions to do otherwise. Call it being ‘romantic,’ ‘passionate’ or even ‘crazy.’ I like to think of it as BRAVE. I've learned the following important lessons over the years:  

1) Giving yourself permission to pursue what's in your heart can be hugely unpopular (even offensive) to those who only WISH that they had done the same.

2) Idealism: often NOT the easiest/safest/most traditional route to choose whether personally or professionally. This, I know well. Accept that you're taking risks and could fall flat on your face. Then appreciate all who help and encourage you along the way.

3) Considering/living someone else's ‘SHOULD DO’ list will never make YOU happy. Write (and rewrite) your own.

Lately, I've been wanting more. I'm excited again after an intensely difficult time. I've also been inspired by a few particular individuals (thanks, Nichole) who remind me that life is too short not to live your own *ideal.* Here's hoping 2013 will give power to more of my adventures — however I choose to define them!