the video is Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address. i’ve been to a few commencements (not my own yet, tho) and i’m pretty sure none of them were as eloquent, inspiring, emotional nor powerful as this.
rarely does a day go by when i don’t wonder what i’m doing, where i’m going, or why. and lately, as i attempt to guide my son through the maze of moving up and forward with his life, i hear myself suggesting things that i never did – but wish i had.
almost a year ago, we lost a very dear friend to cancer. he was merely 46. 18 months before that we lost a sister-in-law. she was barely 36. and we lost a couple more, as well, in that time frame. these heavy hits hammered home to me that truly, life can slip (or be ripped) away long before you think it will and if you keep putting shit off til “later”… later may never come.
i chose the word “fearless” to live with this year. it’s been a hard one. but a good one. i think i’ll have to give it another year, tho, because after 10 months i’m only just coming ’round to understand what it really means. and only just beginning to acknowledge just how much of my life has been overshadowed by fear. mostly fear of being amazing. i’m not afraid of snakes, or speeds, or sickness… but it would appear i’m a little afraid of living. i never really thought i was… well, actually, i don’t think i was in the first half of my life. the fear came when i made the mistake of believing (wishing) someone was a better person than he really was. i allowed him to take away the parts of me that were fearless, and trade them in for shame, self-loathing and timidity.
it’s taken me 15 years to finally come to grips with that. i’m trying really hard now to reverse the damage. some days i have no idea how. some days i just want to crawl back into bed and never come out – but i don’t. some days i want to leap tall buildings in a single bound – but i don’t do that either.
fear is a life killer. knowing i have fear is the first step in getting my life back. knowing i can control it – and banish it – is where i’m heading now.
i want to live a life i’m proud of – don’t get me wrong, i’m not ashamed of any part of my life thus far – i want it to mean SOMETHING. even if just to myself. i don’t need to be famous or rich or ridiculously talented or recognized, even. i just want to know in my heart that i didn’t waste it all in the pursuit of paying rent & hydro bills.
if you are just embarking on your “real life” take some heavy notes from the video below. paint them on your wall where you’ll see them every day. get off your ass and create the you that you’ve always envisioned.
i’ll meet you there.