Living is the Only Way to Live

The first time I’ve posted on a Saturday…ever? Even I’m surprised. Seems perfectly fitting for the theme of today’s #reverb10 prompt question asking, “How did you cultivate a sense of wonder this year”?

Before answering, I think it’s important to define just what wonder is. By definition, “wonder” is an emotion comparable to surprise that people feel when perceiving something rare or unexpected.

A couple days ago I summed up 2010 with one word – “Change”. 2010 has been a year of wonder, a year of learning about myself, figuring things out, asking questions, making mistakes, falling short, and having success.

One of my favorite movies of all time is American Beauty. The story tells the tale of Lester Burnham, a husband living in a loveless marriage, a father to a daughter who resents and despises him, a man with nothing to live for – simply going through the motions without ever asking one key question: “Why”.

But finally, something clicks, he realizes that in order to make his life worth living, he has to live. He says, “It’s a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself”.

We often lose touch with that – we feel as though we’re stuck on a pre-determined path and we settle into being “comfortable”. But this year, for me, has been anything but. It’s been chaotic, terrifying, and above all, exciting. I’ve surprised myself time and time again and at the end of the day, have learned that “living”, in the truest sense of the word, is the only way to live.

Settling with the path your on right now? It’s nothing but a Jedi Mind Trick – you tell yourself you need to pay bills, you need to get experience, you need to pay your dues. All of these may be true, but if your sacrificing your dreams, your passions – if you’re losing your “wonder”, it’s time to take a step back and think about what you are doing, what you want to be doing, and how to bridge the gap between the two.

How have you surprised yourself this year?

(Photo c/o liquid in plastic)