I want to first start off with a little back story on why I feel 2019 was just an awful year for me and why I cannot wait for the new year. This year went completely downhill when my father passed away in April. After this tragedy a snowball of other tragedies began to cascade. Two days after my father passed my fiancé lost his job. A week after that my roommates suddenly moved out leaving us in a financial crap hole. On top of that she was one of my best friends and she just ghosted me and would later claim she felt I needed time to myself, that I would just come to her when I was ready. She decided how I should feel in a way that was convenient for her. I never felt so crushed in my life. We had been through so much with each other I was completely blindsided. I never thought things would turn out this way one day. Even with all this hurt and pain I realized my fiancé was hurting just as much as me. He lost just as much as I did. We were in this together. This time together has been a huge challenge in our relationship, and I am proud to say we stuck it out together and have come out stronger than before. You know that one saying, “when it rains it pours”? Well that had never related to my life so much as it did then. Now that I am finally coming to terms with the tragedies and hardships in my life, the rain has stopped, and I can see the clouds start to clear. I am absolutely ready for the sun and when it comes, I know everything is going to be all right. At least that’s what George Harrison tells me.
So, with this awful year finally coming to an end I have been doing a lot of self reflecting on what I really want to do with my life. I know I am not the only one trying to figure out their place in this crazy world. I know what my life’s purpose is now and in some way I have always known, but I have always been afraid to take that step. I had a huge fear of failing like we all do at some point. I was afraid of what others would think; I feared that they would hate me if I put myself out there. What I still fear the most is reaching for my dreams like Icarus reached for the sun and falling into an ocean of drowned dreams. And though fear is an important instinct to have, it can also become harmful if we let it. Fear is only as powerful as we allow it to be. I cannot allow fear to rule me because what I fear most is regret. Regret that I never tried. The story of Icarus was always a favorite of mine. For those who don’t know the story I’ll share a quick short version of it.
Once upon a time there was a man named Daedalus who was a brilliant inventor. He was punished by King Minos for helping the hero Theseus escape a complex labyrinth that was home to a monstrous man eating Minotaur. His punishment was to be trapped on the Island of Crete in the same labyrinth with no way to escape. Now remember Daedalus was a clever fellow and used twine, feathers, and wax to build a pair of large wings for himself and his son. Yes they work just go with it! Now before they use these incredible wings, Daedalus gives his son a few warnings and rules to abide by: follow him closely and follow him at middle height. If he flies too low, the seawater will dampen the wings, and if he flies too high the sun will melt them. Icarus agrees and off they go.
Now they are flying and cheering each other on. In all the excitement, Icarus completely forgets his father’s rules and warnings and starts to fly higher. Well you can guess what happened next. He flew too high and too close to the sun. The sun softens the wax on his wings and he plummets into the sea crying out for his father to save him. Daedalus tries to save his son, but is too late. His son drowned. Now this story bothers yet fascinates me at the same time for many reasons. When I first heard this story I thought of Icarus as a brave hero. I admired him for going as high as he could go. He flew and he flew high. I know the lesson of the story is to be cautious and to know your limits, but what I hear is stay in the middle don’t go too high or you will come crashing down. Well, I say to heck with that! I believe Icarus took the risk knowingly because the feeling of flying and reaching for the sun was worth the fall. So, you see, I choose to acknowledge the bravery and courage it took Icarus to fly at all rather than see his death as a tragedy.
Life really is what you make of it. It is all about perspective and the right attitude. In regard to the year I had and the hardships I have faced in my past before, I know this is easier said than done. I still have my moments of despair. I still have moments of weakness. I still have moments where I feel like I am not good enough. However, what has changed for me is learning about my dad’s life before us kids. He was born prematurely and was not expected to live very long. Well, he proved that doctor wrong and grew up big and strong. He became a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp and served 4 years overseas in various countries. My dad was also a very smart man and became an electronics engineer. That man could fix anything! My dad lived such a full life despite all his health issues. My father was a big dreamer and he passed that on to me. Now I have to dream without him, and I have to make my dreams a reality to honor him and I will. Fear will not stop me.