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December 5, 2014

The Life I Almost Lost, Waiting for Life to Start.

Photo Credit: Joan Sorolla

I often think of things that I will do when some other time comes.

Once I get past this deadline, I will get eight hours of sleep a night. After the holidays, I will get in shape. Next year, I’ll take that trip, lose 10 pounds and be in better touch with my family.

I make goals just lofty enough that I can put them off until I’m ready. Always waiting until some other time to do the things I really want to do. Always betting on the future…

What about now?

What is it that you are waiting until a better moment to do that you could actually do right now?

For most of my life, I’ve had a social phobia around making phone calls. The amount of mental aerobics I’ve performed to get my self out of dialing is ingenious.

There’s a science to figuring out why any given moment is the wrong moment. For instance, between the hours of 10:00 P.M. and 10:00 A.M. the person I’m calling could be sleeping.

It would also be inappropriate to call during a meal, which pretty much clears any time between 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. or 4:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.

I am a master.

Yet, when I do throw caution to the wind, pick up the phone and call people they actually don’t care if I interrupted their life. In fact, they’re generally just really glad I reached out.

My grandfather and I were estranged for most of my life due to family drama. We had visited a few times when I was very small but then relationships fell away and he was no more.

As I grew up there was a part of me that always longed for the grandfather that I didn’t know but faintly remembered. I remembered, his apartment, filled with treasures that he had collected over time, old video projectors and classic memorabilia. During my early teens, I cherished a thin silver bracelet he had given me when I was about three.

I went nearly my entire life without knowing this man whose blood coursed through mine. Then, one day a few years back, something shifted in me. I put aside all of the excuses, all of the concerns about family politics and as scary and unknown as it was—I picked up the phone and called him.

I’m happy to say that in the last five years of his life I got to know a deeper part of my lineage. I picked my grandfather up from the Veteran’s Hospital. He even took me to a fast food chicken dinner and showed me off to one of his neighbors. We would chat every couple of months and he would download to me on all of his ailments and some of the tales of his early life.

He passed away earlier this year and I am so thankful that I put aside all of the waiting and wondering and finally just reached out and had the relationship I had always longed for.

It was liberating to step beyond my fears. To walk over the stories I had created in the moment and take charge of my own life.

I try to do this now every day. I try to ask, “What am I waiting for?” and then I try to act.

I’m letting go of the idea that everything needs to be perfect. I’m letting go of the idea that it might be “to late to start.”

I am allowing myself to show up, to create and to connect without the excuses or the fears. The life I am creating this way astounds and amazes me.

This moment is the perfect moment to start what you have been waiting to do. It is the perfect time to sing, to create, to reach out. There are no more valid excuses. The only thing stopping you is you.

 

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Author: Melissa Tamura

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Joan Sorolla/Flickr

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Melissa Tamura