I'll go out on a limb and say that there aren't too many people reading this, who've heard the lyrics to Heaven by Jay Z ft. Justin Timberlake. The song draws me in because of the following hooks:
Have you ever been to heaven? Have you ever seen the gates? Have you bowed unto your highness? And do you know how heaven taste? Knock me down
(Outro: Justin Timberlake)
Heaven or Hell, the cards we been dealt Are the cards that we play, play, play Die for what you believe, only one god recedes When the shots spray, spray, spray
Tonight one of my oldest and dearest friends called me because he needed an ear to speak into and a hand to help keep the weight of the world off of his chest. It's amazing how life comes at us from time to time, I mean the sheer force as to which it brings both joy and pain.
I think I've cried more in my adulthood than in my childhood and I'm not afraid to express this now because at the end of the day I'm still a man, unlike what society would attempt to cram down our throats, "Real men, don't cry".
We spoke of the things which make us happy and the things which make us sad, we spoke of our wants, and we also spoke briefly about the things which hinder us from grabbing hold of what we truly desire. What's friendship without truly challenging one another to be better, truly challenging each other to grow, and take risks?
For years, I've looked at my buddy as being one of the friends, within my circle, who has always had his life and head in the right place. As I sat quietly, tonight, I heard a friend who was a bit broken, a bit lost, and rightfully wondering what was next for him.
Alas, my question is what's next for us all? Time, time, I've come to realize, doesn't wait for anyone and this isn't an adage, it's very much reality. So instead of wishing or dreaming upon clouds and stars why can't we place into motion a series of events which will bring us closer to our goals, as various as those goals might be for some of us.
The idea of travel is something that both my buddy and me share, not so much the wanderlust of it all but the satisfaction that we can adapt to any environment we're thrust into. My friend has a heart for South America and for over twelve years I've expressed to him that he needs to go and immerse himself into the culture that is his country of interest and he has done exactly that but there's something missing.
Anyone who has read a few of my posts or followed my 366 days of Instagram posting, last year, will quickly notice that I have an appreciation of photography and travel. One of my favorite places to be is in a window seat; I get lost within my thoughts and the scenery presented by my perch from high above the earth.
It is often within these moments, I ask myself, "What are you doing, bud, where are you going, why aren't you fully satisfied?" The truth is, I know all the answers to these questions and they all come back to risk, I'm afraid to fail so I stand still and watch others succeed and reach their dreams, their full potential.
As I look at the calendar and see that we're already three month into a new year, my mind moves even further ahead to me being fifty years of age in nine and a half years. "Wow, I'm going to be forty one in a few months and then fifty. What am I doing, where am I going, will I be fully satisfied when I get there?" I could tell you what I think would make me happy, at this stage in life, but doing so would mean me being vulnerable in front of a collective group of eyes and there's great risk in that which I'm not sure I'm ready take on at the moment (forgive me).
The words given to my buddy were real and simple, "Let's plan it out and take some risks." IF happiness is attainable and we can identify ways to grab hold of said happiness, let's first ensure we do away with any possible hindrances. My buddy wants something and that something is found on the other side of the wing of the airplane, the other side of the sunset, it's real/it's tangible, and with a little planning and a little faith, the risks will inevitably turn into reward.
"Have you ever been to Heaven?
Have you ever seen the gates?"