My Grandpa, A Dream and A Challenge

On the day I was notified my grandpa died – my most treasured relative with whom I’d had a bond from the day of my birth – I was to lead a Chicago group on a worldwide photowalk challenge. When I received that call, though, I had a decision to make: Contact the group to see if someone would replace me and stay home or go meet the challenge. Knowing Grandpa, he would have expected me to go meet the challenge and do what I love to do. After all, photography is quite therapeutic (more on this another day).

Photo Credit: Steve Zurakowski,
Dynamic Vision

Fast forward to May 4, 2016, two years to the day after Grandpa’s death, I began my first day of a “bucket list” trip to the Canadian Rockies to see Banff and Lake Louise. It was a trip long overdue and, thanks to a couple of clients turned friends, it became reality. Until seeing Facebook “Memories”, I had forgotten it was the anniversary. Now that it was on my mind as I started my journey, I felt even more resolve to appreciate everything I was about to see and experience. The trip did not disappoint and caused me to think about some things.

Today when I saw the “Memories” reminder, I cried. I miss Grandpa. But, as I look back on the past couple of years he’s been gone, I realize I see him in a lot of what I had done. Grandpa, who was forced to leave school after Third Grade primary school, was a self-taught and self-made business owner. He also was a Bluegrass singer who once had his own band on a local station…and amidst his Alzheimer’s, making me a cassette tape of his favorite songs, sung by him.  While he had a terrible history I won’t go into, he was also a stubborn fighter, someone who loved what he did and had an awesome sarcastic sense of humor. (I do not take after him there.) 😉 There’s so much I could say about him, but I will say I see him in much of what I do.

So to continue the pattern, today I voluntarily attended an event on behalf of Tour Through A Lens that was entirely out of my comfort zone. Grandpa would have been proud.

Why am I telling you these snippets of my personal experiences? Sometimes we have a purpose and, sometimes, what we need to do for that purpose is long overdue, not something we look forward to and entirely out of our comfort zone. For some of us, it might take something big happening to wake us up or nudge us off the cliff. Most of the time, our purpose is meant to push us, make us grow and, in the end, put us as peace. For me, Tour Through A Lens has not been about starting a business and being an entrepreneur. It’s been about facing my fears, getting out of my way and pushing through the roadblocks of fear anyway.

What are you facing right now that looks scary or you know is long overdue? How long has it been tugging at you? Do you feel like the sign is true? What will it take for you to do it?

Or what have you done recently to tackle a giant? What mountain did you stand up against and shout “I will conquer this!”?

A little enCOURAGEment for you…That thing that came to mind, take one step this week toward making it real. Don’t wait until the loss of a loved one or something tragic happens to find your courage. You can do it!

One thing you can do to start something: Check out CreativeLive’s workshops! They’re free while live and rewatch. *If you use the link to purchase any of the workshops, CreativeLive will pay me a little something as an affiliate marketer at no additional cost to you.

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