“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
See these two? These two make me come alive. Above you see my niece, Autumn and my husband - the egyptian. I love these two creatures with all of my heart.
As I sat pondering "what makes me come alive," the first thing that came to mind is love. Pure and simple - LOVE. This is a word, 5 years ago, you would never have heard come from my mouth. NEVER. I spat on this word. (Is that a word - spat? Past tense of spit? ;-) ) Anyway.. you get the idea. I was jaded, I was cynical (more so than I am now), I figured "toughen up Nicole - it's just a fairy tale."
This is to say PERFECT love is a fairy tale. Because I don't believe in perfection. But I do believe in true love. With all of it's stumbling blocks, and laughs, and flaws, and fights.. I say fights - because anyone with an ounce of passion and concern could not escape love without fighting for it's existence. I fight/argue because I care. If I did not care - I would not fight. That's how you can tell how much you mean to me.. if I get upset over something, it's because I care. If I act nonchalant, it simply does not matter to me. Which in essence - does not make me come alive.
I thought I would make a list of items/people/places/etc. that make me come alive. In the end.. that's all I ever wanted was to feel passion and to truly live.
Nicole's List of Passions:
1. My love for God. For the believers, you can understand. For the non-believers, do not think of me as silly - it is such a major part of who I am. Don't worry - I am not a finger pointing freak. I am just a spiritual person. Good and bad.
2. My Husband - the egyptian. I love his fire, I love his smile, I love his zest for travel, I love the way he can make me feel when he chooses to show his love, I love him for the man he will one day be.
3. My niece (and family.) In the end, they are who made me. My sister (the only person in this world with the similar genetic make up) created another human being. Something I am unable to do. So in turn, 1/2 of that child has the genetic make up of me. As close as I will ever get to off spring.
4. My exhange students. Pennapa, Camille, Carole, Chiara, Patrick, Roslin, Jackie, Elena, Matt, Maria, Ilaria, Felipe, Kimhouy, and Mina. Each one spent numerous months if not a year living with me. These were my unofficial children and it was a great pleasure sharing my life with them. I love each and everyone.
5. Writing. I never claimed to be the best writer. Never once. I know I have so many typos, and I fail to spell check, and I write conversationally versus other (I can't help it - I was a broadcasting major) - but it is a passion of mine. It makes me come alive. I have no problem pounding out ideas. I could sit here and type all day long and never lose a beat.
6. Photography. I love visual stories. Capturing images. I like to tell stories through pictures/video - etc. I need to tell a story. I like to share concepts and ideas. If this was taken away from me - I think I would shrivel up and die.
7. Fighting for human rights. I am a STRONG believer that everyone has the right to form an opinion, express that opinion, and decide for himself what he or she would like to do with his life or how to live it. It is not any one person's place to tell another how to live their life, or what their perception of that life should be. I will stand up for those who may not be able to stand up for themselves. I will educate others, spread the truth, and insist we let others live in peace.
8.I am a big believer in animal rights.
9. Travel. Experience. It is so important to step outside of our comfort zones. To see other countries, cities, cultures, other realities. How can you form a truly educated opinion if you do not allow yourself the opportunity to be challenged?
10. Finally - I am passionate about literacy. I spend a huge chunk of my day just reading and writing. I have a personal written journal, a prayer journal, this online journal, and I am always reading about 3 books at a time (one fiction - one inspirational - one about some new thing I am trying to learn - like now, I am trying to understand container gardening.) I have several magazine subscriptions that I read cover to cover: American Prospect, Psychology Today, National Geographic Travelor, Bloomberg's Business Week, Scientific American, Real Simple.
What ten things (or share at least the top 5 ) things that make you come alive??!!