This title is courtesy of my Sigma Kappa days which are now almost 10 years in the past. It was one of the cliche phrases repeated to us over and over again during pledging. Even though it’s pretty cheesy I’ve always kinda thought it was true (and hey, I’m kinda cheesy myself) and have said it to myself hundreds of times when dealing with bumps in the road.
Lately I’ve been having my annual (OK, monthly) “where am I going? what am I doing? am I living the life I’m supposed to be?” freakout and I’m sure a few people around me (sorry FF) noticed. I’m sure it’s the approaching 3-0, or maybe just the Newport nostalgia I feel ever spring when the weather turns nice and I can no longer go for a walk on the Cliff Walk or for a Astro Bomb at Johnny’s. (For those of you who don’t know about Johnny’s Atlantic Beach Club – read my one of my favorite old columns here!)
Anyway…this week I was lucky enough to attend the 140 conference hosted by Jeff Pulver. The conference was a 2-day event that focused on the power of now. What the heck is that you ask? Well as it turns out, it was exactly the inspiration and reminder I needed that:
1) I can do anything at anytime, it’s never too late
2) I love what I do now
3) I can always do more, do something different, go somewhere else, nothing is impossible!
There were many amazing speakers, some you’ve obviously heard of like Ann Curry (swoon!), Mayor Corey Booker, Dennis Crowley (co-founder of Foursquare for all my non-social media friends) and then there were some you definitely haven’t heard of, which is what I thought was so cool. Some were completely and utterly random and even a little eccentric but they were all inspiring and shared a common trait of passion and drive. Most wanted to accomplish something and did, in most instances more than they ever dreamed. All of them used social media in some way to achieve their big things and it was pretty rad to feel their energy and hear their stories. A few sound bytes from the day really struck a cord with me, which brings me to my title, “everything happens for a reason.” I think I was meant to be there and here those things and be re-inspired and reminded that I can still do it all, make my mark and conquer the world. Perhaps most importantly, I was reminded of something that is extremely easy to lose sight of, especially living in Manhattan.
Money can’t buy happiness….
We’ve all heard this a million times but I will be the first to admit, I don’t “buy it” for a minute. I can almost guarantee I’d be happier if I had more money. If I had more money I could travel the world which I KNOW would bring me happiness. If I had more money, I would help family members and loved one do the things they can’t afford to do, and if I had more more money, I’d hire a personal trainer, buy a boat and buy my first pair of Christian Loubotins (OK these are the totally superficial and selfish ones, but still…I would!)
After hearing a lot of people tell their stories of how they chased their dreams and never once did it for the money, it reminded me of something my small-town heart already knew deep down, but that I may have temporarily lost sight of. That thing is: people in this city often put too much weight into the pursuit of material wealth. How can you not in the most expensive city in the world I guess? It’s often all about where you live, what you wear, even where you eat and drink but it’s rarely about what you’ve done and what you believe and who you are. It’s good to be reminded of the things that matter and also to be reassured that yes, it is possible to be successful and happy and NOT rich…although often times if you stick to what you know and love, you just might get rich doing it…someday.
OK enough preaching – goodnight NYC – I still love you, I just have to be reminded every once in a while that the size of my apartment doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things!