Storm Chaser

I really don’t openly discuss my hobbies.  They are my own and they speak more about me than I ever could myself.  But, since this time of year is really one of my favorites not because of my birthday or that it is summer.  Rather, it is the time of year that severe weather season is full bloom.  I love the weather.  I love watching it.  I love being in it.  I love watching Mother Nature do her thing.

This particular thing though… much of the people I know are scared to go out and chase storms.  I can understand and respect the unpredictable and unstable nature of severe weather and how it affects people.  Not everyone can either appreciate or even thrive in unstable conditions.  Much less conditions that threaten their livelihood.  While people in their right mind are wise to keep their distance from these types of things, I find a certain appeal in being threatened.  There’s a certain excitement in knowing that the world around you can be challenging.  Not just in the way that makes you think of escaping danger or unnecessary risk; but, in giving you the opportunity to take the risk knowing that whatever lies ahead may be dangerous and that it can damage or perhaps even kill.  The excitement lies in the chase.

But, the dread lies in confrontation.

The way we approach life, at least I believe, can open a lot more doors for all of us if we approach it in much the same manner.  Don’t get me wrong, though.  I would like to think that I’m not fool enough to subject myself to turbulence and instability at every instance I could.  After all, storm chasing is a hobby.  There is a season in which where I can do this consistently or within a reasonable frame.  However, you never know when you’re going to find yourself in a situation that mandates a response to the climate.

I don’t necessarily like being in turbulent conditions; but, I can honestly say that there is an unimaginable amount of gain to be had when you’re “under the gun” so to speak.

Nobody said life was safe and that progress was made by the actions of a conservative body.  The common theme of progress is risk, it feels like.  Just how far one is willing to go… Just what one is willing to give up for the sake of something else…

“Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair.” -William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk “Star Trek: Generations”

 

I’m big enough to admit that I’ve weathered storms that I had no business being part of.  I’ve sat out storms I’ve wanted nothing to do with and I’ve born witness to the proverbial “perfect setup.”  But, I’m also big enough to admit that in the midst of all these instances, I have felt anything but excitement.  I’ve felt dread and I’ve felt fear.  I’ve been afraid.  But, that’s okay.  Right?  There’s nothing wrong with respecting dynamics beyond your control.  There’s nothing wrong with picking your battles, right?

Perhaps.  Perhaps not.

For every moment that you find yourself rooted in fear, angst, and doubt… there is a moment you can find yourself in a moment like this…

maxresdefaultShot May 27, 2013 by Brandon Ivey in TIV 2(Tornado Intercept Vehicle)

This picture was taken inside (YES INSIDE) the parent circulation of a strong EF-3 (Enhanced Fujita-Scale) or a weak EF-4 tornado.  Meaning, the team inside of this vehicle dared to drive into the funnel of a tornado.  Sounds ridiculous, right?  Perhaps even ludicrous or insane.  But, they weren’t going to get what they wanted from this storm being a safe distance away from it.

 

There has to be some point when we make the decision to not shy away from things because they aren’t safe.  Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time doesn’t mean that conditions are conducive to safety, security, or even certainty.

I happen to know for an absolute fact that being in the right place at the right time is shrouded with instability and the potential to damage or even destroy all that we’ve constructed at any given point.  For that reason, being anywhere but there has a certain appeal.  Who wants to be at Ground Zero for anything?  Who wants to see something get torn apart?

When, I feel the more appropriate and driving question is, “Who wants to see what you’re made of?”

 

Interesting thought, isn’t it?  Getting to see what you’re made of… seeing how you stand up to stress, antagonism, rage, fury, and any other element that can wear you down so a point where there’s nothing left.  Nobody wants to see how you stand up to things because nobody wants to see how you break.  But, the risk of breaking is necessary because how else will you know how you’ll endure?  For you to endure, you have to be tested.  The climate in which you stand can’t be consistent otherwise how you’re built will reflect consistency.  If you’re built for prosperity, how you’ll respond to adversity will overwhelm your inherent skills and talents.  If you’re built for adversity, you may not know how to embrace prosperity.  Or, who knows how you’ll respond to any given situation until you’re faced with it.

But, you’ll never know until you take the risk… embrace the challenge… find yourself face to face with what scares you the most.

Who knows… maybe that’s what chasing storms is all about.

 

Then again, maybe it’s the thrill of peril… or the opportunity to honker down, ride it out, and enjoy the show.

-Kevin

In honor of Matt Hughes (2010); Tim & Paul Samaras, Carl Young, and Richard Henderson (2013) and all those who have their own tornadoes to chase.

 

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You, Damn Kid…

So, I’ve had a lot of time to think about the future lately.  In less than two months, I will be 32.  No wife, no children, and probably the worst thing about it is being that I have no idea when, or even if, those things are in the cards for me.  The thought of getting old is a very real and intimidating realization and to be quite honest, it isn’t one that I can realistically come to terms with and be happy.

Everyone ages.  Not everyone does so gracefully.  Not everyone is susceptible to the ravages that will inevitably come with it.  I’m not necessarily concerned with how I age; however, what I am concerned with is more with what I would lose because of it.  It’s safe to say that we all will lose our faculties or talents at some point.  Whether it be our mental faculties, physical talents, or what have you.  I can live with that, or live with knowing that their absence is beyond my perceptive ability… hint… hint… Alzheimer’s Disease… please, leave me be…

But, the one thing I don’t think I could live without is knowing that the one thing that drove me to action… the thing that inspired hope and liberated me to pursue things in spite of anything that said to me… that child that we all were at one point… the one that thought a blanket and a box made a spaceship or that a mask and a cape made us a larger than life superhero… if that person were to disappear over time, I’d die as a shell of the person I could have been.  What’s worse is knowing that over that time, I had a chance to do something about it…

I don’t feel like that child has left me… well, not yet anyway.  Or, if he had gone away, he decided to come back because there was a time where he was gone and I had no idea what to do or where to go.  I can admit that for a while there, I was lost and you could probably go as far as say that I was dead.  Maybe not in a physical sense; but, in every other sense of the word.  There was no drive, ambition, or will to continue.  There was no reason.

As far as the image goes, it is from the lyric music video to “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay.  On a tangent, it is an excellent song and I’d recommend it to anyone.  It’s a great listen especially if you’re the type to appreciate the message but I digress…

But, what it represents is that kid we all carry with us.  As we get older, we feel like this child becomes such a burden.  As we get older, the mandate that it carries will supersede all of the things that we wish that kid could accomplish.  We feel that being older means being more responsible with ourselves.  Whether that be in our social, professional, or family lives or even in how we pursue our interests in those arenas.  Sure, I can agree with the concept that the older we get, our temperament is adjusted to reflect the experience that time spent grants us.  But, as I’ve come to really understand what it means to really “grow old,” so to speak, is that how we articulate the passage of time is merely a human construct.  Sure, I’m 31 years old and I believe that I am old.  There are people that are older than me… but, man I tell ya… there are in an age that defies the term “prime of their lives.”  How, I can’t say for sure but I can say this:  Getting older does not mean that their child grew old with them.  Collectively, they are as youthful as they had ever been and they fought Father Time like hell and got him to walk away because they were able to demonstrate that no matter what, there was nothing he could do to make that child succumb to the ravages of “growing old.”

When I realized that being youthful was less of a talent and more of a partnership, I began to really appreciate why that song sticks with me like it does.  If you’ve listened to the song and you understand the message, great… I’d love for anyone who reads this to share their insights with me.  But, the message to me extends beyond the apparent and into the obscure.  To me, it is a little tune and an echo… but that little tune and an echo is what brings that child to life.  Or, what brings Life period…

Maybe the future isn’t such a terrible and terrifying place after all.  Being 32 with no wife and no child is one thing.  But, being 32 with no wife, no child, and no youth to keep me honest… I’m not sure I could look at life as something worth doing because I feel like that kid of mine is awake and shaking his head and wondering to himself, “What happened, Kev?”

Instead, maybe it is more about how long I can keep that kid dreaming and wondering, “What adventure are you going to go on next, Kev?  What can I dream up for you this time?”

I don’t know, buddy.  You were always the type to turn something so Parisian into something more… tangible.

“Well, you got time, Kev.  And, you got me.  You haven’t let me down yet.  You have gone astray but you haven’t let me down.”

Maybe so… maybe not.  But hey, who honestly knows?  Maybe I’m dreaming of him or he is dreaming of me and how one day I’ll make it to Paris.

At least that kid is dug in like an Alabama tick…

-Kevin

P.S:  “Paris” is a good song too.  Just saying…

Twenty Minutes

When I woke up today, the last thing I honestly wanted to do was reflect on points in my life that had come and gone.  However, I was reminded by an awesome colleague and even better friend of this:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

 

It really resonated with me because of something my driving instructor at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas said to me.  He said that he wouldn’t have been telling me I was doing good things if I hadn’t been.  For a long time, people telling me I had been doing things well just to be nice.  Brandon, my instructor, also said that he had been around way too long to tell people constructive things for the sake of being constructive.  Looking back at it all now, it really makes me wonder just when I had been doing good things or just being told I was doing good things.  However, that is something for another day.

 

What I really wanted to get off my chest is that we seem to only really encourage or impart words of affirmation only when we’re on the journey.  We feel that the need to encourage one another only has punch when we’re about to do something important, risky, or unknown to us.  I can agree that those three instances can be critical when it comes to being encouraging.  However, it is disheartening to see it practically in only those three instances.

“For the most part, we have to work on small things right now.  So, if we’re having to work on small things after six laps, that’s pretty good.  It’s a car you don’t know.  It’s a track you don’t know.  It’s a driving style you don’t know.  After six laps of doing pretty good… getting to where you’re working on small things, I think that’s pretty good, right?” -Brandon, my instructor

Halfway into the experience and to have this spoken to me by an experienced driver was… for lack of a better way to put it, encouraging!  Here I am… no competitive racing skills or experience under my belt and just there for the sake of getting to drive a $120,000 sports car… to be told, by an experienced driver, that is what I would need to work on to progress?  That’s what we all want!  We want to be naturally in a position to have to make subtle adjustments instead of these whopping, life changing ones.  All too often, we take those whopping ones for granted because we don’t necessarily appreciate the journey we took to get there.

As I’ve gotten a little older since then, I’ve learned to really enjoy not abiding in being stationary.  Just because I haven’t left Canyon, USA doesn’t mean that I’m stationary.  There’s always a place to go or a thing to do wherever you are.  Lately, I’ve been exploring my faith and what it means to me.  I’ve been exploring my talent for composition and creativity.  I’ve been lots of places that a car could never take me.  But, for those twenty minutes in that Nissan GT-R, I found that a car could take me places that I wouldn’t have ever considered otherwise: a place that showed that encouragement is a journey all its own and not merely just a stop along whatever path you happen yourself to be.

 

So, as I find myself sitting here reminiscing about the things I have experienced and the things yet to come, I am encouraged.  Because at some point, somewhere down the line, there either has been or will be a Brandon telling me that regardless of what point I exist in, I have done good things and those little things will resolve themselves with understanding and application.  It’s kind of a shame that at first, I didn’t believe him.

 

Now, I do.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction serves you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

I can still hear “Turn now!  Brake now!  Push through the apex!  Go, go, go!!!!” in my head.  A lot better now because I can appreciate what it means to be encouraged through proper guidance.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction continues to serve you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

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-Kevin

P.S:  Thanks, JP!  As one racing fan to another, “Boogity!  Boogity!  Boogity!”

 

Fantasm

vison-1

Before anyone goes and critiques my artistic ability, let me preface myself by saying that I have very little to no graphical talent.  But, I will also say that the above picture is mine.  It isn’t a clone of anyone’s visual representations of an image.  It is mine.  Solely mine… not much to look at, but is my intellectual property.

Suffice it to say, I still have issues with the whole… being 30 thing.  It’s been since July and I still can’t honestly bring myself to accept that I won’t be getting any younger.  I know… I know… However, I do find some solace in the notion that eventually all of my hair will fall out.  One less thing to be conscious about, right?

Honestly, I’ve found that one of the things that has become increasingly difficult is to arrive at a decision that I would want my life to follow.  It’s not so much even a career choice or anything goal oriented.  It is definitely something reserved for someone a little more… youthful… and that is chasing dreams.

The more and more I look back now, the more and more I realize that I was bribed to give up the things I embraced as a child for more “grown up” things.  The paradigm is that as an adult, we have a certain responsibility to live in an ordered world and contribute to that world appropriately.  Whether it be that we contribute in a manner that benefits society as a whole or offers those around a glimpse into how we portray and delegate our talents to the world around us… it doesn’t matter to our peers or perhaps even parents because of some Seussian philosophical principle.  As a youth, I learned all too quickly that dreams are just that in the eyes of those who have lost something so precious… passion.

As adults, we’ve been to a degree indoctrinated against pursuing our interests because it conflicts with our status as adults.  Too often we’ll be accused of being irresponsible or childish for not being secure.  While, for the most part, I would agree with such an assessment.  We will forego whatever obligations we’ve already made for an opportunity to regain a piece of what made us special.  While, some would argue that we never really lose those attributes, they definitely take a spot on the shelf because of other “priorities.”

I, myself, have fallen victim to this… as I’m sure most of us either have or are in the process of doing so.  There’s nothing more damaging to anyone than failure.  Especially when the opportunities you have come few and far between and you know that they diminish with each passing moment.  Personally, I’ve found very few things lately (Consequently since I turned 30) to be deserving of such an emotional investment and it is a very lofty investment.  Sure, I have talents that I would love to see work for me… literary composition, for example.  But, as a child I did enjoy drawing.  As I got older, it shifted from graphical artistry to music.  I’m very fortunate for music to still play such a role as it did when I was younger.  It just affects me in different ways now than it did then.  Most people wouldn’t think that I was a child that had the talent to take those dreams and manifest them into something relevant or even something substantial.  I’m not saying that my childhood was debilitating.  I was very much so encouraged as a child.  I had a very good idea of what I wanted to do… and perhaps I still do.  But, I’ve found that something that had diminished over the years along with a multitude of other things was the conviction to pursue my dreams… passion to persevere.

It’s a sad realization to know that you’ve been bought.  I can admit it.  I’ve been bought.  Not by any one particular person or principle… but I’ve been bought by this illusion of what “productivity” is and that to maintain this illusion of what that represents, I’ve had to give up something very unique and special.  Or, at the bare minimum reduce its capacity to affect change in my life.  The damnedest thing about this whole concept is how easily the process was and for how little it took to take us away from the things we’ve held most dear.  Some of us can’t tolerate losing this quality.  Some people can part with it for the sake of assimilating into a new environment.  However, all of us in the end have to come face to face with the idea at some point or another we would have to choose between chasing dreams and being productive…

As we get older, it gets progressively more difficult to make a distinction between the two because we’ll make decisions that enable the other.  Such as, we will pursue higher education to facilitate our intentions of taking a position in a certain field.  Or, we will have to let go of those aspirations because Life throws a curve ball such as having a child early or having to assume “adult” responsibilities early.  For me, it was the latter.  I’m big enough to admit that I wanted to be free.  One thing I didn’t consider was that that I wasn’t big enough to be free.  I don’t mean “big enough” as in if I was mature enough.  I mean in such a way where that my responsibilities as an adult would not have consumed my desire and passion to see my dreams through.  Instead, those aspirations were subdued by things like money and success… at least from societal point of view.  As time wore on, I always said that at some point, I would go back and make an effort to realize some of these things only to be dissuaded by accepting that my responsibilities would have always taken precedence and always been more important.  Hence, why we choose to work on “projects” in our “free time.”  Kinda like this entry.  Ironic, isn’t it? =)

But, being a person that is occasionally able to realize when I’m getting the shaft, I’ve come to know that passion is a lot like faith… having passion gives you just enough reason to continue what seems to be a futile pursuit.  Just in the same faith gives you enough reason to believe that no matter what may or may not come, it will never be enough to convince you to quit.  I’m also big enough to be able to speak freely about how many times I’ve wanted to quit.  I’m big enough to speak freely about how I wanted to throw everything away because the harsh reality of my life was devoid of something that things like faith, passion, and dreams created… Vision.

As I got older, I would look back and often wonder just where I could have made better decisions.  I won’t say that I’ve made some “wrong” choices.  However, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve made some very questionable if not downright asinine or even brain dead ones.  But, I’ve also come to know that getting older created very unique opportunities to gain insight and dispense wisdom to those who are in a season when they are facing the same choices I’ve already endured or continue to face every day.  I’ll also be one of the first to admit that as… consistent… as I’ve been about making decisions, I’m hardly as adamant about making decisions that sustain my vision for identity.  Making decisions about regulating your daily exploits is absurdly easy… as it should be.. but the real question is that making decisions that feed your imagination and creativity just as easily.  There’s a saying… feeling comfortable means you’re feeling controlled.  Boy, was I being controlled… because any time I’ve felt uncomfortable, there was no control… I was free… and I had forgotten what it felt like to exist in such a way.

Which, brings me to the picture above… Never minding what it actually is, it’s representative of a project that I’ve always wanted to complete.  But, much like a lot of other things that are within my personal orbits of obligation and responsibility, it’s spent too much time on the outer reaches than it has ever spent being close to the center that is my attention.  Now that I have an opportunity to show it the love and attention I believe it deserves.  If you want to know what it is… just ask me.  I digress…

The truth here is that we abide in the choices we make.  We abide in the things we love not because of how they make us feel… but we abide in those things because we choose to.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to know and appreciate just how difficult change really is.  Not because of new ideas or new scenery… but because of the progressive rise in difficulty to choose.  Change is a fundamental process of Life.. and I’m big enough to admit that I haven’t been living lately.  But, something I’m glad to become aware of is that all of the things that identified my childhood and captured my passion for the future are still with me as I’ve transitioned into adulthood.  They’ve followed me.  Not because out of some capacity of loyalty or trust.  Rather, because they’ve made a choice to love me in a way that I believe that no person ever could.  It’s awe-striking to see that even after all these years and as many times I’ve made choices that place things like “passion” and “vision” in a place where they don’t affect change…

That now, I feel them so completely and see them so clearly… and the invitation that they have given me to follow them leads me in a way that I haven’t felt since I was a boy.

Maybe because I haven’t taken a minute as an adult to ask that boy who so loved football, cars, the stars, and literary expression… how all of those things would fit in my bag as I traveled.

The boy didn’t care how… and neither should I.

-Kevin

Odds Are

Every now and then, I’ll be driving from somewhere to somewhere else and a song will play on the radio that just shoots from the hip and strikes the heart and just holds me accountable.

Part of growth is learning that risk management isn’t always taking chances or making decisions based on numbers.  There’s an inherent dynamic that says no matter how much the numbers may or may not favor you, there is always a chance that the opposite outcome will occur.  Instead of making decisions for reasons why they would succeed, I’ve been making decisions based on reasons why they would fail.

That really just isn’t a way to live.

Sure, things go wrong but I’ve always been willing to take my chances.

I’ve always been the type of person who felt that there had to be some concrete resolution.  Sure, I’ve been known to act in faith and that everything will sort itself out.  However, more often than not I believed that whatever that meant would bode badly for me just because that’s how everything else has wound up being.  It didn’t matter if I had good intentions or not.  Someone had to bear the consequences and I always felt that it would wind up being me.

Nothing worth risking was never worth having.  I firmly believe that with every fiber of my being.  I don’t think there will ever be a point where I stop believing that.  But, I think I’ve grown up enough to say that I’ve lost sight of what I thought was worth having.

Lately, I have been struggling with the fear of loss.  The fear of losing my friends, my family, and perhaps even my very essence and what made me special… whatever that may be.  I still haven’t figured that one out.  Everything of merit that I have, I’ve earned and even more to the point, has chosen to stay.  I’ve committed unhealthy acts of sabotage against everything and everyone who has added value to a life that probably doesn’t have any.  It honestly didn’t occur to me just how damaging this can really be until I burned through them all and saw what was left.

There’s always a chance that things will turn out exactly the opposite way that we hope they will.  As much as we say that it shouldn’t stop us from taking the risk, it is still a very effective deterrent.  We can take such a negative view on how we make our daily choices no matter how seemingly insignificant or disproportionately impacting we can make them out to be.

It’s so easy for us to make decisions that we trust will satiate our own selfish desires or the collective interests of a group.  It’s a much more difficult think to make decisions that don’t.  We have to make decisions that are right for everyone concerned.  I haven’t been able to make a decision that was right for me in a good, long time.  I’ve made decisions that defended in cowardice what I’ve desperately tried to hold on to with such emotion.  What I wanted, whether it be in a social, spiritual, or emotional sense, was never really important.  So, it was just easier to place those desires behind those who did matter.

I’ve been so afraid to make risky decisions because of the odds that I will fail and lose them too… whatever the chances I wouldn’t may have been.  Instead of believing the odds would have made me miserable, forced me to compromise, or perhaps even just lay down and accept that it was over and I needed to move on, I could have accepted that they could have equally worked in my favor.  Optimism was never a strong suit of mine.  It didn’t ever mean that I wouldn’t be alright in the sense that I’d be happy or taken care of.  It meant that I’d be alright that I’ve learned how to live without those wants and desires and be able to move on from them.  After all, they don’t really matter now, do they?  Odds are they probably do… then again, the odds are that I won’t have to worry about them.

The odds are that we will probably be alright.  Not just alright, but perhaps maybe, just maybe… the odds are we will probably be all right.

-Kevin

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

As of right now, I can honestly say that there hasn’t been more of a scratchy and rough spot in my life as there’s been right now.

I’ve always felt that I was in the most trouble or danger as when I feel the most comfortable.  I feel like I’ve had to lead a very Spartan lifestyle.  I feel like I’ve always had to be able to pick myself up at a moment’s notice and be ready to transplant myself somewhere else at a moment’s notice.  It’s just never been me to feel somewhere… safe.  I’ve never felt safe… with anyone… anywhere.  I take that back…

I’ve felt safe when I’ve felt like dying.

Maybe it is the sense of finality… or the acceptance of things you couldn’t change… or just the the score was finally settled.  I’ve never felt more at home… comfortable… accepted… as when I talk about dying.  Personally, as morbid as it sounds, I can’t wait to die.  But, not for the reasons you may think…

Every night, I ask myself this question, “Did I do anything today that earned me another chance to do something worth doing with my life?”  Many times, I answer this question with a resounding “No, I did not.”  It makes me wonder just how many more chances will I get?  How many more days will I have to do something I’ve always wanted to do… or meant to do?  To be perfectly honest, I want that number to be as low as possible.

Not because I actually want to die… as the overtones really suggest to the contrary… I’m actually quite comfortable with my mortality.  I embrace death.  Life is a journey and death is an inevitable part of it.  As one journey comes to an end, we must embrace the opportunity to begin another one.  Personally, it’s hard for me to relate to people because I value the act of living a lot differently than nearly everyone I associate with do.  However, this gives me a unique perspective on just how much life is in what we do instead of how many days to live we are given.

Lately, I’ve found that I haven’t been putting much into my days… and I apologize.  I’ve done things that I’m not proud of.  Perhaps, the worst of those things was when I was willing to deprive those who care about me the love, affection, adoration, and respect they deserve because I was selfish and felt as if they would be better off if I weren’t around.

Maybe I was right… maybe they are better.  They deserve to have someone around who wouldn’t abandon them or abuse their character.  We, as people, deserve so much better than to be wounded and to go about our lives in a manner that reflects those assaults.  When you think about it, how many people actually want someone who bears the marks of a turbulent and abrasive life?  Honestly?  Why have a piece of coal when you can have a bright, shiny diamond?

Nobody realizes just how deflating that whole concept is until it happens to them.  But, I won’t excuse human nature.  It’s natural for us to want what we feel we can’t have.  It’s natural for us to undervalue so many aspects to our own character and personality that we inflate our desires way beyond their value that we begin to extend ourselves so that we can afford those things.  For me, there are those who would argue that the summary of my own experiences, emotions, and essence are too valuable to waste.

How I do not share their opinions…

However, there’s an aphorism that says, “Life is like a rainbow.  You need both the rain and sun to make its colors shine.”

Even throughout this whole journey of discovery that I’ve embarked upon since April, a lot of the ringing questions that put me on this path still remain.  Have I done anything today that someone will look at tomorrow that asks the same questions I did yesterday?”  I have a very hard time accepting the idea of someone actually learning something from me.  I just don’t think that there is any… value… in any combination of my three “E’s” for someone to make an investment.  And as the storm rages on in my world and as the effects of being weathered become more apparent…

“This gift that you gave me for my birthday. You never got to tell me why you gave it to me or what it means… but I think I know. I think that you appreciate that there are extraordinary men and women and… extraordinary moments when history leaps forward on the backs of these individuals… that what can be imagined can be achieved… that you must dare to dream… but that there’s no substitute for perseverance and hard work… and teamwork… because no one gets there alone… and that, while we commemorate the… the greatness of these events and the individuals who achieve them, we cannot forget the sacrifice of those who make these achievements and leaps possible.” -Gillian Anderson

I often think to myself… What a wonderful world this place really is… that we can dare to dream… and ask, “Why can’t I?”  “Why can’t I have Life in my days?”  “Why can’t I have a legacy?

“Why can’t I mean something to someone…”

Somewhere over the rainbow… dreams really do come true.

-Kevin

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