I love sharing other people’s stories and lives. Today is a benchmark for my blog since this post is written by my first ever guest blogger, Lance Taylor. I met Lance at an AfterDark event last year and we hit it off with great conversation. Lance always has something to say in the best of ways and is very entertaining. He has touched me in my life and by sharing his story he can now touch yours. When I asked for guest bloggers, Lance didn’t hesitate to put himself out there and embraced the opportunity to share. Let his words inspire you:
By Lance Taylor
Interestingly enough, I have spent my whole life being “safe” and “practical”. Don’t those two terms conjure up excitement in your mind? When someone describes a blind date as “practical”, doesn’t that make you want to drop everything to go out with them? Yeah, me either.
The truth of the matter is I’m being a little hard on myself. I’ve had moments of craziness that I can look upon fondly. However, for the most part, practicality has kept me safe and provided me with some measure of predictability in my life. I don’t have a criminal record, I have money in the bank, and I’ve never been chased by a pimp because my best friend and I were yelling things at him at 3am from the safety of our car. Okay, that last part DID happen, but otherwise I’ve been practical.
I always tell my little sister that she’s my hero. She’s a social butterfly with a gypsy soul. When most people wake up in the morning and say “Hmm, I think I’ll go to Olive Garden for lunch today”, she wakes up and says “Hmm, I think I’ll move to Canada today.” She packs her car with her belongings and moves…no job, no place to live, and no friends. Somehow, she finds a life. That is AMAZING to me!! But while I find that amazing, my sister also lives paycheck to paycheck. She never knows whether she’ll be able to afford to do things she wants, and she certainly doesn’t have a retirement plan.
Now we get to me…practicality has afforded me a military retirement, a college degree, a hefty retirement account, and the ability to run my photography business full time without worry. My sister sometimes needs to borrow money, but she’s happy. I don’t need to borrow money, and I’m also happy.
That being said, something changed in me last year. In the months leading up to my retirement, I decided to “let go”. I no longer worried what people might think of me if I allowed myself to be silly. I quit worrying about the future so much, and I was certainly ready to embark on the new me. I started a novel that I had been writing in my head for 13 years, I started spending some of that money I saved up, and I started doing things that were on my bucket list (which you’ll see in a minute).
I think it was noted psychologist Carl Jung who proposed that the first part of our lives are spent in one mindset (either wild/crazy or practical), and the second half spent in the opposing mindset. The thought process being that we seek balance in our psyche over the course of our lives. Since I grew up with an old soul in my childhood, I now spend my latter years as a silly, joking-making, fun-having fool. I like letting people see my silly side, and they seem to respond to it. And you know what? All of this is making me incredibly happy!