A Note To Self
When I moved from Michigan to Tennessee, people from back home, as well as people from other states, would ask me, “When are you going to come back for a visit?”. My answer was always, “When time, chance, and circumstance prevails, I’ll visit” — In other words, when all things line up and provide an opportunity, I might plan a visit. That was how I felt, usually. Nowadays, if I don’t want to visit, my answer is, “Probably never“. If asked about someplace that I am interested in visiting, I start planning right away. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to hop on an airplane, or hit the highway that weekend, but probably soon.
If your plans are based on time, chance, and circumstance, working in harmony, you’ll never do anything, or go anywhere, as those three concepts rarely work together in unison. When you have one, you won’t have the other two; if you have two, you won’t have the other one. Before you know it, you’ve given up and decided to stay in your comfort zone. Yes, it is very easy to become complacent with your situation, and it’s quite difficult to go against practicality and be a little radical (especially, if you are not used to it).
Let’s Break It Down
Most people spend their time pretty redundantly, and in the same intervals: work, family, maybe some social activity, TV, rest — more of the same tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. This is the same repetitive schedule that you’ve followed for the last several years. We have at least a little bit of control over this time, yet, we claim to not have time for ourselves, to try new things, or even start a new life.
There are also instances when time is working in our favor, but we believe that it is inconveniencing us, so we become angry and say (C’mon, we’ve all said it), ” I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT!“. That kind of statement is usually warranted by situations like this:
You’re driving down the highway, and there’s a pick up truck in front of you moving at about 35mph, when the speed limit is 70mph. You can’t pass the truck, because there is a mother in a minivan full of kids on the side of you, and it’s not moving much faster. You’re becoming more, and more pissed by the minute, as time is getting away from you, and it’s going to cause you to be late for work, or whatever event that you were trying to attend, that required you to be on the highway, at that time. As you cuss and scream at people who cannot hear you (which by the way, is stupid), and beat the steering wheel in anger, you look ahead in time to see a large truck bump another car (possibly the same size as your car), knocking it off of the road. You can see and smell smoke.
The lost time that angered you before, might have saved your life. Had you been allowed to travel at the speed that you preferred, it could have easily been you to wind up in the ditch. Losing time, actually gave you more time (on Earth), as it saved you from serious, life threatening injury, and possibly, death.
At that point, you’re grateful, and you realize that time really was on your side, as your life and/or livelihood was spared. However, it’s unlikely that your gratitude will last for long. It’s more likely that you will immediately slip back into the same old routine: work, family, maybe some social activity, rest.
When things happen by design, we don’t have much (if any) control, because the situation is designed by the Gods. However, chance, doesn’t have to be a deterrent, as there are other designs to follow.
Let’s face it, SHIT HAPPENS! People get sick, people die, cars break down — by chance. And of course, things will likely go wrong when you have plans (chance becomes happenstance). While any one of the above listed events can stymie you from taking advantage of an opportunity, it doesn’t have to stop you from devising a new plan. But, it’s more likely that you’ll lose momentum. When you had the chance, shit happened, so just forget it now. What’s on TV?
Chance and circumstance usually go hand and hand, and most times, they’re one and the same. But, there is one circumstance that is probably most common, and we’ve all said it before, (all together now: 1,2,3…) I AIN’T GOT THE MONEY!
Yes, financial circumstances can quickly kill dreams and plans. Just as James Brown is Soul Brother #1, “I ain’t got the money” is circumstance #1. If you really think about it, money doesn’t have to have that kind of power. I honestly believe that not having enough money, is mostly an easy excuse to use when talking ourselves out of things. It’s really not a good excuse, because money is always there. If your electricity is about to be cut off, you’ll find money to prevent that, so you can also find money to do something for yourself. Of course, I don’t mean that you should purposely neglect the necessities — home, utilities, food (if you’re into food), etc. However, I’m sure that there are some extras that you could cut back on in favor of giving yourself a real treat.
Don’t Overestimate Your Spending
You don’t have to have a new wardrobe to take a trip. If you don’t get out much, chances are, the clothes that you have are damn near new. If not, do as I do — raid your daughters closet, or your friend’s. Take advantage of whatever options are available for you, but DO NOT allow circumstance #1 to stop you from having new experiences and enjoying your life.
Make Changes, Not Excuses
I have used time, chance, and circumstance, as my de facto excuses for not going places and doing things. In the process, I am sure that I’ve let others down. I even used those excuses as reasons why I could NOT start Afrologik.
I had also accepted the idea of staying in a town that I don’t enjoy living in, because settling is so much easier than taking a chance. Besides, under the circumstances, I’m broke. I could fall on my face, and ain’t nobody got time for that. That was my mindset, and I’m a rebel, so it’s my nature to rebel.
Finally, one day I decided, “I don’t like living here, and settling is not acceptable. I will take a chance on myself. I can change my circumstances, and I have a lot of time left on this planet; I’m going to spend the rest of it, my way!”
There’s never going to be a perfect time; Circumstances happen, and change. But, you can certainly miss your chance — act quickly.
The subtitle of this article is, “A Note To Self“, because I have to remind myself of these lessons several times a day — everyday. I’m about to make a huge life change (details will be shared at a later time). Even though I am taking special care in preparation for this new journey, and I know that the Universe thinks highly of me, and has my back; it still scares me sometimes. I know that this is what I have to do, as well as what I really want to do, so I’m making the time to change my circumstance, and take this chance.
I know that it’s going to be an amazing experience, but regardless of what happens, I’ll be proud of myself for taking the risk.
If this 5’3, 125 lb, big haired woman, who was blown into a puddle of mud by the wind (seriously, the wind blew me into a puddle of mud, about an hour ago. See the picture below) can do it, any one of you can do it! Get out of your comfort zone; you don’t have to play it safe all of the time. Take a chance on life, take a chance on you — hell, take a chance on failure! Failure breeds lessons, and lessons (when learned and accurately applied) breed success.
Whenever I feel stuck, or afraid to continue, on the journey that I’m on — I play this song at full volume and it gets me back on task (that song and my vision boards). Find your inspiration and get off your ass — start living, and stop making excuses!
“Shit! God Damn! Get off your ass and jam!”