My daughter and I recently attended STORY 2019—that conference for creative-type folks (which begs the question, why was I there?) that I mentioned about this same time last year, except then it was STORY 2018. In case this does not ring a bell or, like myself, your long-term memory ain’t what it used to be, STORY is a two day conference designed to inspire you on to bigger and better things and more creative approaches to whatever it is you might be approaching. I generally leave believing I can conquer the world . . . and then the world pops up intent upon proving me wrong.
This year’s theme was Between No Longer & Not Yet, addressing that liminal space hovering between the two. I’ll admit it, I had to Google “liminal space”; I didn’t want to spend two days listening to people talk about something I didn’t understand. For the non-Googlers in the group, liminal space is that period of transition or transformation from where you were to where you want to be—and is often very discouraging because you may not know how you’re going to manage getting from Point A to Point B—or even what Point B is.
Over these two magical days we heard from an abundance of folks whose names I won’t mention because, if you’re like me, you’ll have absolutely no clue who they are . . . except for maybe Leslie Odom, Jr. (Aaron Burr from the Broadway show, Hamilton) and Brad Montague, creator of Kid President and co-founder of the Montague Workshop. Oh, and maybe Susan Blackwell, an actress, singer, and writer. But it didn’t matter. Each person brought their own unique perspective to the conference and their own unique story to further inspire us.
As Kathryne and I were talking about the magnificence of our first day, it dawned on me that, for many people, there is no liminal space. It has become a liminal life. They are moving from birth to death at a steady pace, with no dreams or ambitions to fuel their journey. Perhaps those were never there to begin with and that person is content to live without them. That’s their right and their privilege and I for one will find no fault with their choice. And there are others that held on to those dreams and ambitions for years before allowing Life to snuff them out with whatever obstacles could be conjured. Again, I understand that practicality often outweighs pursuit of some distant goal, and again, I for one choose not to find fault with their decision.
But for many of us, those dreams and ambitions still swirl, just beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment, the right time to burst forth and bloom. If I look at my own life, I know those are still a part of who I am, but I also know I’ve hit my three score years and am currently working on the next ten. I also know I’m not promised anything beyond now. Honestly, as I drove home from Nashville on Friday, and pondered life as I know it on Saturday, there was a vague sense of panic. How long is too long to wait? Had I exceeded that time frame? And how does one move from Point A to Point B?
In all my pondering, I managed to draw a few conclusions: 1) It is never too late until you take your last breath, 2) You’ll never finish if you don’t start, and 3) The best time to start is now. So today’s message is brought to you by Life . . . but co-sponsored by Death. Live your life with intent, with purpose, and with vision, because the day will come when that is no longer an option. Instead of reflecting on the past, be inspired by the future and its possibilities. Don’t just dream. Go forth and do. If at all possible, don’t let your dreams die with you.