A Time for Everything

One of my best friends moved to California this week. She will be going to grad school at California State University, Long Beach. I couldn’t be happier for her! She is such a go-getter and a hard working person. She is AMAZING, to say the least, and has inspired me since our college days of leading a nonprofit together and working on a magazine. She is going after her dreams. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

But (there always is a but)…….there is a bittersweet part of watching my friend move off to California: The fact that I am not with her. You see, I too, have had the dream of moving to California for a long time. Not for the glitz and the glam or the “Hollywood” scene, but because the profession I aspire to work in, film and magazines, is a thriving industry there. I have been told that if you want to get in the game, then you must go where the game is played. For me, the game is being played in California. My desire to be there only grows stronger and stronger with time. Something in my gut tells me that is where I am supposed to be.

IMG_8155My friend Erica’s first photo after arriving in Cali

Like attracts like. Just like my friend is a go-getter, so am I. I don’t believe in sitting on my butt and waiting for my dreams to come my way. I believe in working my tail off and earning them. So why didn’t I move to California then? Well, I had every intention to pack up my bags and move with my friend come fall of this year, but every time I would try to take a step forward, there was something stopping me. Something was missing.

You may think, “Maybe you were just afraid?” Fear? Yeah, I have definitely felt fear before, but I have learned to feel fear and go after my dreams anyway. I may feel fear but I do not allow it to stop me. I felt fear when I moved to New York City the summer before my senior  year of college. I felt fear when I moved to Minneapolis the year after I graduated. So fear was not my problem. Yet, there was something missing that I needed to have before I could make the move to California. Peace. I did not have peace. I could not put my finger on it, but I just knew that it wasn’t the right time.

Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):

“Be patient: Take a lesson from chess. Sometimes when you are young everything seems so immediate and emergent. It’s usually not. It’s one thing to see a move you want to take. It’s another to be able to wait until the right time to take it.”

Sarah Hall, CEO of Harley & Co.

I know what I want to do. Write. I love to tell stories, other people’s stories, my story. I want to use media, specifically magazines and film, to bring hope to people. I am a storyteller. Writing is my gift. I want to use it to help someone else. The place I know I want to be in to pursue that dream is California, but what I realized is that California isn’t the only place where I can pursue my dreams. While I am waiting for my time to come to move west, I can pursue my dream wherever I am at in the meantime. I can work hard and make the most out of the opportunities in this season of my life and work diligently and persistently to get to that next season.

The truth is, you can have a dream on your heart, but sometimes, the timing isn’t always right. That doesn’t mean give up on the dream. It simply means to keep working and honing your skills until your time comes. So when your window of opportunity does finally come, you will be ready to take it.

I still plan to move to California. But until then, I will be content. I will work hard and keep writing and honing my craft. I will keep taking magazine opportunities as they come and see them as practice under my belt. I will be rooting on my friends with the loudest voice, as they pursue their dreams. When my time to move to California comes, I will be ready and guaranteed I will be better for having waited. There is wisdom in not only knowing the right move to take but in knowing the right time to take it.

As a twenty something, I hope you are encouraged today to relentlessly pursue your passions. Work hard. When you get knocked down, take from it the lessons you can and keep going. Do not feel pressured to rush into a career or to take a position just because it seems like the adult thing to do. Be honest with yourself and figure out what is best for you. Have the courage to get up and go after your dreams, stepping out into unchartered territory. But also have the courage to wait. Be brave enough to stay when something doesn’t feel right. Have the courage to be still until you know what’s best for you. Have the courage to wait until it’s your time. And when your time finally does come, take it.

“Genuinely brave people not only have the courage to take action, they also have the courage to wait when they need to.” Joyce Meyer

Here’s a song to keep you encouraged while you wait: Daley- Those Who Wait

IMG_20131124_135517Erica and I reunited after a long time apart!

MeandEricaSome of my favorite memories with Erica

-Stephkt

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Lessons Learned from Childhood Cinema

Now that I am 21 years old, I think it’s funny how introspective and reflective I have become. Maybe it’s because I am a recent college grad or maybe it’s just a big part of my personality but I like to analyze.  I like to pick things a part to find a deeper meaning, the whats, the hows and the whys. The last one can be a bit perplexing of course because who ever really can answer why to some things in life. Nonetheless, I still ask questions and search for deeper meanings.

I recently caught myself doing this while watching one of my favorite childhood movies, The Lion King.  Out of all the Disney movies from my adolescence, The Lion King has always been by far one of my all time favorite movies. From the rhythmic music to the story plot of the king taking his rightful place at the throne to the setting in the beautiful lands of Africa, this movie pulls at my heart strings and brings me back to a place of pure adolescence.

While watching this movie last week, I found myself drawing some life lessons from my favorite childhood movie.  It’s funny how something so simple and fun can carry a deeper meaning.  It’s even more ironic how a movie from my yester years can carry a message that is so helpful and beneficial to my adulthood. Maybe when we get older, we forget these simple truths, but that is why I absolutely love stumbling upon them again. Each of the main characters I think brought an important lesson to the storyline.  Let’s recap:

Simon and Pumba: How can anyone ever forget the lesson that Simon and Pumba taught us? “Hakuna mata,” if you forgot, means no worries.  It’s a wonderful phrase and a carefree philosophy. It means that basically we must accept the things we cannot change and live our lives to the fullest, happiest and in the most complete manner as possible.  It means laugh, play, dance, hug people, fall down and just have fun! Live life. Be present. Don’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday. Live now.

Scar: While probably not anyone’s favorite character in The Lion King, uncle Scar does teach us a valuable lesson and provide the other half of the hero/villan plot needed in any film. Scar teaches us about the power of jealousy and revenge.  His hate and disdain for his brother becomes so consuming and crushing that he is driven to kill his brother and to try to take his young nephew’s life as well. Scar teaches us that comparing ourselves to other people can become quite unhealthy and that jealousy is destructive.

Rafiki: Rafiki had a marvelous quote in the movie, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Rafiki is trying to teach Simba that though the past can be hurtful at time, it is important to face it in order to move forward. No matter how painful our pasts can be, we have to face them so that we can learn and become the best version of ourselves.

Mufasa: Mufasa’s son, Simba, had a problem that many young people, including myself, often deal with, thinking we know everything. In the midst of our arrogance and adolescent mistakes, we often loose sight of who we are and what we were created to be.  Simba runs into this problem after his disobedience leads to his father’s death.  Mufasa’s advice for his son is simple, “You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.” I think when we mess up and we end up on a road in life that we never expected to travel down, it is important to get quiet, be still and wait. We must look within ourselves and tune out the rest of the world.  I am a fond believer that our gut, that little voice inside of us, always knows best.  We sometimes can’t hear it when the rest of the world is turned up too loud or when have become accustom to quieting it. We must learn to look within ourselves to remember who we are during times when it is easy to forget.

Simba: The favorite and lead character of the movie, Simba is super relatable and so cute. I love that Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays the voice of the young Simba. His voice of course just adds to the cuteness.  Simba essentially portrays the timeless tale of growing up. He is destined for greatness, but essentially he runs from his destiny and the man he is born to become out of guilt and fear. Simba shows us the importance of facing our problems head on and even when you feel afraid to face whatever is in the way of your destiny.  For Simba, his uncle Scar and fear of his past are holding him back from greatness.  It isn’t until he goes back and faces Scar and stands up for himself that he can take his rightful place as the King. We too must be willing to face our demons and the many roadblocks life brings to become the men and women we are meant to become.

I hope that this recap from The Lion King has been a refresher about some important life lessons that as we get older we seem to forget. So remember keep it light, keep it simple and live a worry free life of greatness.

Stephkt