In the movie 25th Hour, there’s an incredible scene at the close of the movie where Edward Norton’s character flies through his life as if ‘it could have been’ based on his choices. Left turn or right turn.
“You forget your old life, you can’t come back, you can’t call, you can’t write. You never look back. You make a new life for yourself and you live it, you hear me? You live your live the way it should have been. You get yourself a new family and you raise them right, you hear me? Give them a good life, Monty. Give them what they need. You have a son, maybe you name him James, it’s a good strong name, and maybe one day years from now years after I’m dead and gone reunited with your dear ma, you gather your whole family around and tell them the truth, who you are, where you come from, you tell them the whole story. Then you ask them if they know how lucky there are to be there. It all came so close to never happening. This life came so close to never happening.”
As I’m approaching the third year of living in Dallas, I’ve been thinking a lot about the decisions I’ve made that have led me here, as I type this blog, reflect back on an incredible weekend that included my sister visiting, and a line of fresh chances to make something incredible happen. Life is nothing more than a long string of choices; left, right, good, bad, right, wrong, fear, love.
The life we have is our greatest gift. What we make of it is our gift to others and ourselves.
It can be overwhelming to look at the choices I’ve made and ponder where they could have gone. Rather than live in the past, I have to look at a common thread that’s been behind every single positive outcome I’ve ever experienced; my choice was made out of love – not fear.
The choice to follow passions – rather than security. New possibilities rather than sure bets. Following my heart rather than being crippled by fear. Forgiving instead of holding a grudge. Integrity rather than shortcuts. Humility instead of pride.
As I also think about adding another year of life to my belt, it overwhelms me to think of just how amazing of a journey it has been. I used to marvel at the long standing impact the poet John Keats was able to make with his life, before passing away at the age of 26. Looking at my own life, I feel as if I’m just getting started and the road ahead is incredible, defined, purposeful, and full of heart.
That’s a blog for another time…
Featured Image From Deviantart