One of my favorite authors, James Baldwin said, “The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”
We want, I feel, a sense of empowerment that with all we face each day: An intentional life is achievable if we charge forward and be willing to make mistakes.
With three months left in 2021, I hope for my friends and family an intentional life: More time, more contentment, and more value of what is really important. Even though we face personal challenges, hope and faith can forge resilience into a coat of armor, even if what we know today will be gone tomorrow.
Yet, I ask, can failures mean optimism? Can I be ready to face a reality of plans I made that may not come to fruition?
Strength is not valued in how much you hold in your arms, but in courage. I learned this from the elders, who graced my life. I see this courage in strangers, like the homeless’ second-to-minute survival, friends who are battling cancer, to those who are leaving all familiar comforts for countries where language and customs are strange.
September is my birthday month, and every year, memories carry me back to home in a small Ohio town, where everything and every day was the same, except when the seasons and calendar changed. I longed for adventure, and so, my mind was always ready and optimistic. I surrounded myself with ideas, dreams, and hope—as fears of the unknown plagued me. And to be honest, I am who I am today because fear and optimism toughened my spirit.
I’m aware many dreams are just that, and disappointment covers much more territory. Still, I’d like to feel optimism is the cradle for life and death because all we’ve done prior was chosen and completed because there was a readiness to accept the next journey.
I had to read that James Baldwin quote numerous times to fully understand its intent. Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing it. Baldwin is a favorite of mine from my youth, so I hear you and await just what YOU will continue to do to change the world from what it was. Blessings for this next chapter in your life. I’ve ordered your birthday present, due out 9/14, and will send it to you upon its arrival. God Bless and Be Safe!
Donna, as we both are writers there is an appreciation for James Baldwin. He has been an inspiration to me for a very long time. I think his mission mirrored mine when faced with challenges. He looked outside the box and lived a life with optimism and fearlessness.
Wow, Cheryl! You’re a perfect example of what you’ve shared with us. You’re an awesome author, mentor and “Sister Friend”! You have a positive spirit which is much needed, in this world today… especially now! Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and hope!
Edythe, life’s timetable is uncertain and unpredictable. My mission is to take the bitter with the sweet, and find purpose with dignity and grace.
I LOVE the last sentence: “…a readiness to accept the next journey.” It reminds me of the many journeys I took into the unknown…and I somehow had a readiness to move forward and to accept what would come.” I think it will be good for me to contemplate this in my present life. Thanks Cheryl!!!!
Heather, it seems we, both, have had many journeys. Some people will mention: I don’t settle down in one place too long—–it appears their opinion of me is based on how they have lived or settled into their life. I channel an adventure that won’t allow for cement to harden around my feet. I live for the next turn around the corner. Mistakes, yes…but I choose Alice’s Wonderland any day.
You, my dear, are an inspiration!
Thank you Heather, as you are an accomplished painter, who has long inspired me to write in vivid colors.