In the midst of wedding season and the business of travelling to engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and wedding ceremonies; I cannot help but take a moment to ask myself “how much are we really engaged?” I do not refer to asking a significant other to spend the rest of their life with us in matrimony. I refer to participating in meaningful contact or connections with others.
How often do you take time to stop and force yourself to become aware of your surroundings, and the people involved? Intimacy should not be reserved for romantic relationships, but all relationships. Do not fear deep, meaningful bonds with those in your life. Even a passer-byer may have something to offer, be it a small life lesson or another perspective. We must remain open to all life has to offer before the last stroke of the clock.
With this in mind, I have decided to be engaged! I will engage with my peers, my family, my friends, my coworkers, my pets, nature, and embrace the ups and downs of life. Death is inevitable, so why wait around for Joe Black to arrive and wish we had another chance?
I vow not to worry about social pressures or arbitrary norms. I vow to live my life with no regrets. I vow to love all parts of me while I open my mind and heart to show compassion to others. I vow to remain engaged while Father Time pours his sand.
On the left is a picture I took while walking about New York City, NY. On the right is a picture I took in Richmond City, VA. In both cases, I felt unnoticed by others, yet engaged in my surroundings. A picture, however, does not fully capture the life I felt surrounded by passer-byers. Mindfulness and awareness aid in capturing life.
Many people may choose risk taking as a means to push themselves to reach new limits and break comfort zones. I, myself, can admit to testing my limits through different activities. I cannot swim well, so I’ve always possessed anxiety when participating in water activities [despite my love of the sight and sound of water]. I have also possessed a fear of heights, so this past weekend I challenged myself to go sky diving!
I almost panicked when the wind attacked my face and I forgot to breath! It was not until the parachute opened that I regained my sense of what was happening, and I calmly enjoyed the view of the land. Just look at all the green 🙂
I must say that the first jump is a sensory overload! I will jump again soon to better experience life amongst the clouds. I think a bird may be my spirit animal because I was surprised how comfortable I became soaring in the sky.
One of my favorite places to visit locally may surprise many people. To some a casual visit to a cemetery may be viewed as offensive, while others may find peace and solace amongst those no longer with us. I personally view Hollywood Cemetery as my own little Ivory Tower or oasis. I am able to get lost in my thoughts while obtaining a good workout walking around the beautiful garden.
Hollywood Cemetery also has much history to be explored and uncovered. For example, you will find U.S. presidents such as James Monroe buried amongst over 18, 000 confederate soldiers.
However, my favorite part of Hollywood Cemetery is listening to the sound of the James River running nearby Waterview Avenue. I literally walk right through the front entrance and follow the sound of the rappids until I find my favorite hill overlooking Richmond City. Many locals will not find such views of our little, historical city without a visit to Hollywood Cemetery.