Recently, I traveled to San Francisco with some great friends. I returned to the state where I was born and raised, but loved being a tourist and seeing parts of this town that I had not seen in some time. One of the places I really wanted to visit was Alcatraz Island, where criminals were housed until 1963, including some of the most infamous — Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly to name a few. Tickets were sold out on the day we were there, but I know I will make it to the Island one day. Maybe I will even be brave enough to take the Night Tour… (who wants to go with me?)
Instead, we traveled (via public transformation, no less — that in itself was an adventure) to one of the most famous sightseeing attractions in all of San Francisco — the one landmark that is the iconic symbol of this town.
Yes…we went here…
The ever classic Golden Gate Bridge.
So, what does a bridge thousands of people visit every year have to do with being wild?
As I stood on that bridge, I saw people who were doing exactly the same thing as I was — checking out the sights as we looked across the bridge towards the north or to the west, where you could see more of downtown. We even looked across the water to see Alcatraz, some boats, and cars driving around.
But you know what caught my eye the most?
These two guys who were kite surfing around San Francisco Harbor.
Here is the best picture I could get of one of them…
And in that moment, I was amazed, stunned, speechless, and excited all the same. Maybe it was because of the miles he seemed to be off shore. Maybe it was the sharks that must be in the area — part of the deterrent for the prisoners being held at Alcatraz. Maybe it was just the mere size of him compared to the boats that seemed to be way too close.
And you know what?
That’s his kind of wild!
It is when his senses are at the their highest…when he is forced to focus on now…when he can’t predict when the next wave will hit him…how he will steer away from another person. He is in that moment. Nothing can distract him — not even for a second.
In some ways, I am ashamed to admit that I was once boring. I played it safe. I was cautious. I was careful. It was too much. (Don’t get me wrong — I am not talking about being reckless and stupid.)
One of my favorite songs is, “I Lived” by OneRepublic and their video is inspiring in so many ways. Check it out here!
We never know when it is our time to “go” — so in the meantime, we have to make the best of the time we have. Would you rather it be spent in a boring and safe bubble? Or would you rather go out there and feel something that fills every ounce of your being?
Many of us have created a “bucket” list — a list of things we want to do or before we “kick the bucket.” But I don’t like that term and it focuses on death. I want to focus on being alive. So, my “life list” frees my of any constraints I had placed upon myself earlier in life. I am able to choose to do things that others would never imagine doing. My list may not be long, but it is full of meaning and in a single breath, it gives me hope.
Someday, I may ride in that hot air balloon or careen down a river in an inflatable raft. And every day that I challenge myself to step away from my comfort zone, I feel awakened. As if I am in this constant state of adventure and am enthusiastic about what happens next, never really knowing what that looks like. No longer needing to feel safe or cautious.
[bctt tweet=”Now, I throw my hands up and welcome every single experience where boring once stood. Liberated once again into falling in love with life and the choices it affords me.”]
Imagine –746 feet of steel and metal jetting into the sky and as my gaze drew near the top, I began to feel a little woozy. Things began to spin. But in that moment, that was my wild. That was me going to the edge (literally) to involve myself in something a little scary, but exhilarating just the same. Just like the kite surfer, I was paying attention to where I was and what I was doing.
Nowadays, we just get stuck on auto-pilot and never take part in life. Not the way we are supposed to anyway. Instead, we act cautious and become stale in the process. By the time we get back this sense of action, we have developed fear that prevents us from taking a single step and once again, our “wild” side remains hidden.
Life is about living.
It is about being vested in every single second you have been given. It is about loving without holding back. It is about giving unconditionally. It is about listening to great music and speaking kind words. It is about watching kindness be played out between two strangers. It is about bearing witness to miracles and sharing those same stories in written form. It is about tasting new foods and learning new cultures. It is about being open to new people who come into our lives and it is about the change that finds it way, no matter where we are. It is about reminders, some sudden and unexpected, of our health and the moments that we treasure most. It is about the way we feel and expressing those emotions that stay true and honest.
What does your life list look like? Make one if you don’t have one already. Choose to take action, ensuring that you won’t lose your focus. Add new items from time to time and create memories with the ones you complete. Invite other to join you as something they never imagined could actually be the beginning of a new start for them. Chase a dream. Defeat the odds. Prove something to yourself.
Ask yourself…when was the last time I got a little wild? When was the last time I felt an adrenaline rush? When was the last time I pushed myself? When was the last time I was surprised by life? When was the last time I stepped over the edge? When was the last time I felt alive?
It’s time to be wild. It’s time to be free.
Michelle A. Homme 2015 ©