#MotivationMonday: Zach Sobiech

What’s up guys?! : )

Happy #MotivationMonday! I hope you are all feeling extra inspired today. I know I am. Let me share with you something that has been keeping me motivated over the past few days.

Biggest Inspiration on the Planet Award goes to: Zach Sobiech

I was supposed to be doing homework this past Wednesday when I came across a video a friend posted on Facebook.  Now, I usually consider myself a pretty positive person, but after learning about Zach Sobiech, I realized I had been just scratching the surface of positivity. His story is so moving. I know this video is 20 minutes long, but you NEED TO watch it. I seriously believe everyone in the world should be forced to sit in a chair and watch it. I’m not even going to say anything else until after the video.

Okay, so I know some of you guys didn’t watch that. I’m giving you a second chance.

If you still didn’t, I encourage you to keep it in the back of your mind and watch it at some point. Seriously. I am so inspired to live life like Zach. No matter what is going on, he has a smile on his face. He’s always looking for the bright side in every situation, person, and struggle. I want to fight like he does to make every day memorable and full of warmth.

The most important thing a person can do is take each situation as a learning experience, and that’s exactly what Zach and his family did; not once did the family view his situation as a setback. At least in the video, it’s easy to see that they used the situation as a way to learn to be more alive. To love more. To do more.

You can do whatever you want in this life– anything you set your mind to. (It’s a cliche concept, but I think it’s important to remember that cliches are cliches because they hold so much truth.) As Zach says it, “You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”  The ignorance of death is just an excuse people use to stay stagnant. I don’t think we should necessarily think about death every day, but the most important thing we can do with our time on this Earth is remember that it is limited. Not only is it limited, but it is ephemeral. Our lives are momentary. Truly, in the history and future of life on this planet, our little lives are but a moment– a tick mark on an endless timeline. And yet, we have the opportunity to move the human race forward with the voice we’ve been given. We have the opportunity to change even one other person’s life, whether that is a parent, a friend, or someone in serious need. That’s incredible.

There are too many things to be done, too many people to help, too many things to learn, too many adventures to go on for you to pretend like you’re going to live forever.

Because you’re not. Zach thought he was going to go to college; he had things all planned out. Everyone has things planned out, and that’s perfectly normal. We just need to make sure they’re the right plans. If you were going to be told that you had cancer tomorrow, what would change about the way you woke up in the morning? What would change about the way you answered the phone? What would change about the dreams you haven’t chased?

Everyone needs to smile like Zach. Everyone needs to love like Zach. Everyone needs to create, inspire, and relate like Zach. People would be so much more peaceful if they took a lesson or two from his beautiful life. This all sounds a little too serious for my liking, but the message Zach’s life sent to the world is that we do need to take life seriously. If we don’t, the lost opportunities to speak, move, and listen will build up and fall away before we can grasp them.

TAKE those opportunities. Take chances. Learn to see the positive in everything. Because it’s there, and it’s waiting for you to find it.

You can donate to Zach’s Children’s Cancer fund here. You can follow the Twitter account for his cancer fund here. And you can also follow the Twitter account for Child Cancer Research Fund here. Everything you do helps!

Life is too short to wait !!!


It Runs in my Blood

I discovered a lot of things a few weeks ago.

I’m really into history– especially my family history.  Luckily for me, my ancestors began a journal in the 1800’s, so people like me would be able to read about what they did and why.  I’ve always known about it, and I’ve read parts of it here and there, but it was never real to me until a few weeks ago when some of my family decided to go visit the house my ancestors lived in. These particular ancestors immigrated from Scotland to America in the mid-1700’s; they were the first known people in our family to make the trek to the Land of the Free.

The journal (and other articles unrelated to the journal) told me that these people, particularly a man named James, were most prominently associated with the development of a city around where I live.  The house they lived in was a well-known mansion in its time, and now stands as one of the city’s historical landmarks. Walking into the house, still mostly preserved, was as surreal as it gets. At least for me. I might’ve been the only one who was truly mesmerized– I’m not really sure. I’m spacey and imagination-prone like that.

Maybe this will explain what I mean. What do you see when you look at this picture?

Blair House Tour 090

You might see a window and its lock. That’s certainly the last thing I saw.

Upon seeing this window lock, I immediately began spiraling into a world of long-gone-days and what-if’s. A vivid movie reel began turning in my imagination: James’ thumb turning the latch to lock the window each night, knowing exactly how he had to jimmy it to get it to cooperate. His ensuing thoughts that came with looking out the window into the city he helped create. I thought of Anna, a later ancestor, in one of her big, elaborate dresses with her fingertips brushing the frame of the window as she held a candle in one hand. (I’d like to imagine that she was walking around reading Jane Austen, contemplating her influence and individuality as a woman and human being). I stood there in shock; I was touching the beginnings of my own life. Every decision those people made led to my existence– to my own genetic makeup. Did one of them have a wild imagination like me? Maybe one of them loved music like I do.

One thing is for sure: my ancestors were dreamers.

That, we do have in common. In this single moment with the window lock, I suddenly felt ashamed for my recent withdrawal from writing or pursuing my dreams. My ancestors had nothing. They picked up, one by one, and left their home in Scotland. With no iMessage, FaceTime, Skype, or email, they left. They said goodbye to those they loved and started from the bottom up. They began a city. They created the first bank in that city. They did what they could to contribute to their time, and they triumphed. Some of my later ancestors began the paper that still is still printed in the city, which was taken over and run by a woman in the family. (In her time, that was quite the accomplishment).

“So what am I doing?” I thought. I felt the ghosts of them looking out the window with me– looking down the hill at their lifetime of work. What is stopping me from chasing possibilities? It runs in my blood. I’m ready to take off sprinting, to not look back, to start fresh, to live with no promises, to add my stitch to the tapestry of history.  I want to feel the fire in my veins when I make a brash decision to do the unexpected. I want to look at my creations and see that I made them not because I could, but because I couldn’t stop myself. I want to stand with my ancestors as people who not only imagined, but also DID.

I carry the dreamer gene. What an absolute shame it would be if I continued in my just-exist lifestyle. It’s time to tear off the thick layers of fear and failure. It’s time to be better. It’s time to do better.