I must say the best kind of experiences are the ones that you randomly stumble upon with a stroke of good luck! Such was our 'hot air balloon' sighting at Letchworth State Park in Buffalo, NY. Although we have experienced a hot air balloon ride in the past, things were different this time. Being the 'keen onlooker' and watching the spectacular display from start to finish allowed for a fresh new perspective and a whole lot of deep reflection. Going into my 'food for thought' mode as I pen down this unique experience!
My brain raced to draw an analogy between the creation of the vivid hot air balloon and our human lives, specifically our journey through life's many stages. I guess whoever said your 30s are the years for some mature life reflection, was right on point (#onfleek brownie points)!
There's a lot that goes into making the people that we are today. Many folks work tirelessly and selflessly to teach us, mould us, and guide us to solidify our being, much like the team that works hard together to gradually erect a gigantic hot air balloon, putting their best foot forward.
As we grow in life and try to find our footing, there are participants who actively influence our lives and others that are onlookers. Some of these bystanders will watch passively, while some others will mumble and make noise. At times this social murmur lies dormant and during other times it roars loud and clear.
Our foundation may grow weak as the heat of the social flames grow, but if we stand clear and stay focused, we will eventually blossom to show off our vivid colors. Of course, to be able to express the diverse colors of our personality, we have to persevere and stay true to ourselves.
When we are finally ready to take flight, not everyone gets to take the ride with us. We chose the folks that we want to keep closest to us- the people that get to ride in our basket with us. Over time, we will figure how to add just the right number of people in our basket to maintain our balance and to make our journeys worthwhile.
Time and tide will pull us in different directions. The ride will not be smooth sailing all the time, but the ups and downs will definitely keep the journey interesting. There will be stages in our lives when the experiences will be novel, unique, and breath-taking. Remember to savor those moments and take it all in to the fullest!
There will be other stages when we sit back and think that we have it all under control. And just then the noisy flames will disrupt our calm to shake us all up. But it is during those times that we must gather ourselves and fight back so that we can continue our journey like a boss. We will bushwhack our way through the thorny patches and emerge victorious like a warrior with new skills mastered and new life lessons learned.
At some points in our journey, the night skies will cast their dark shadows and during other times, life will show us its spectacular rainbow colors. Both stages are beautiful in their own way, but it will take perspective to appreciate the value in both!
On our journey, we will not be alone. There will be competition; people who will constantly try to challenge our worth; people that will look better, perform better, and climb the success ladder at a different pace than us. We must accept them in the stride and persevere to give our best, but never give up on our own journey. Cause our journey is our very own and no one can take that away from us :)
Whether this ride takes us through steep cliffs or difficult foggy patches, believe that 'even this will pass'! Nothing will last forever...neither happiness nor gloom!
OUR Final REFLECTIONS:
Let's SLAY with our confidence; FLASH our brilliant smile; INSPIRE; ASPIRE; give life our very BEST because We totally are WORTH IT! 'Own' our journey as the ride is totally worth it!