A few weeks ago I began taking a Creative Writing course, and something that the teacher said on the first night has stuck with me to this day. Talking specifically about character development he said "Be open to meeting new characters - if you stay open, you'll find that they'll come to you, ready to be written into your story." However, that thought of being open resonated with me outside of my notebook. I was surprised to find that being open - to characters, possibilities, new ideas, life's hidden messages - presented a brand new view of a concept that has haunted me for the last little while.
The concept of time has been a touchy one for me, and has often had somewhat negative, worrisome, and stressful undertones. Getting older, losing friends and family, hell, even the fact that this year seems to have flown by - I have clearly been feeling the pinch of time, and my thoughts reflected the sentiment. By now, I should have accomplished so much more. I've been missing out on amazing opportunities. I'm running out of time. It doesn't take you long to realize that this fearful, panicked way of thinking does nothing except work you into a frantic mind state. My problem was, I didn't know how to get myself out of it.
Once I started practicing my openness, I began to notice a common thread. Nearly everywhere I went, I heard or saw references to time. A conversation with my girlfriend centred around it "being time" for her to launch a new business. My homie and mentor Britni Danielle wrote an excellent piece inspired by Jay-Z's words at a recent Barclay Center show: "Don't let anybody diminish your accomplishments. It's our muthaf*ckin' time now." Looking back at pictures from a trip to Japan, I thought about how I felt the day I purchased my flight ticket - I remember being so excited thinking "It's now or never" as I confirmed my purchase.
Time can be a strict overseer, hounding every moment of everyday. It has a terrible habit of mocking you as it slips between your fingers while you frantically try to grasp and hold on for a minute longer. When I decided to be open to possibility, I released that watchdog and found a new, more positive way to look at time. Instead of being afraid, I became energized. Maybe it was time for me to do something I've always wanted to do. Maybe it was time for me to finally kick a habit that's been dogging me for too long. Maybe it was time for me cut out the excuses and live the life I've always wanted to live. Procrastination has been cut down (it's not completely gone - I won't lie), and being more intentional and proactive has increased. Regardless, my new outlook on time has me focusing more on the act of starting now versus the fear of the clock running out. Remember that 50 Cent verse "I got a lot of livin' to do before I die/and I ain't got time to waste"? Yeah. That's kind of my new motto now.
For me, this act of simply being open to life's signs and opportunities is like leaping from a building a believing that there will be a safety net below. I can see that it's all part of my continuous journey to having faith, releasing control over the uncontrollable, and trusting that the Universe will guide me to the things that are meant for me. The saying that "time is of the essence" can't be denied, however, I'm choosing to turn time on its head. No more playing Cinderella, fearing that the clock will strike midnight before I've done what I have to do. Instead, I'll be over here, living the "there's no time like the present" life - focusing on now and letting later come when it may.
Do you ever find that you get continuous signs that point to a lesson you need to learn in life? What does "being open" do for you? Have you ever changed the way you view a concept, like I did with time?