Posted by: alliehope | January 13, 2008

My First Gray Hair

I was going through my normal routine the other day, and found something that scared me: my first gray hair. In interest of full disclosure, I’m 26. There, I said it. I’m still a baby in a lot of people’s eyes.

However, seeing this really bugged me to no end. I decided to not pull it, since there is still the pesky myth somewhere out there that for every gray hair one pulls, three more grow in its place. Pulling it was incredibly dang tempting, though, I have to admit.

This provoked some serious reflection in me about how quickly life can change, and just how short it really is. I realized that because I’m only on this planet once, I want to make as much of this life as I can. I don’t want to arrive at my final day (whenever it may be), regretting what had not happened or what I had never gotten around to it.

I personally think that the most dangerous word in the English language is “tomorrow”. It is a word fraught with hope, faith, and potential, but it is also fraught with complacency, mediocrity and disappointment. The hope part is obvious: I have another chance to live the life I was created to live, a life of passion, purpose and wonder. I have the chance to make a difference in the world around me.

So far, so good, right? Now comes the complacency part, the not so good. I can use “tomorrow” to talk about things that I don’t want to do today, things that I think don’t need to get done today. It indicates that my priorities are not living in the moment or making a difference, but simply living on the surface. It indicates that I am content with, for at least one more day, with taking up space on this planet.

That, to me, is the definition of mediocrity. I would then belong to what Dante called “the dismal company whose lives knew neither praise nor infamy; who against God rebelled not, nor to Him were faithful, but to self alone were true”. Not exactly good company when you think about it. After all, this describes a lot of people, and honestly, it describes me more often than I care to admit.

Thus, I find disappointment: disappointment in the way things have turned out, and I anticipate disappointment. I find myself thinking that things will never change, that try as I might, I’m just not going to achieve what I want in life. This is the kick in the butt that I keep giving myself, numb to the pain.

But now that I find myself thinking on it, I realize that even a kick in the butt is a step forward, after all. So I find myself needing to break the cycle of complacency, mediocrity and disappointment, and get into the hope, faith, and potential that each day has. After all, there will come a day when tomorrow will not come.


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