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Only When We Are No Longer Afraid, Do We Begin To Live

We as people spend our whole lifetime, wanting to be happy. However, when a real opportunity presents itself, the bulk of us go to great lengths to deny ourselves this happiness. Why is it that most of us are so perplexed to believe that we cannot, should not, or should feel guilty for wanting a piece of happiness? Why is it so hard to true to ourselves, wants and dreams? My idea goes beyond the painful decision to order poutine instead of salad during a rigorous diet plan. Although I must admit, that while reviewing this article, the craving in me is growing. The delicious gravy, the warm melted cheese curds with a loving embrace around each golden french fry..... *shakes head* where was I? Ah yes, happiness in life. I have seen men quiver in the presence of the women they adore; I have seen grown adults simply deny themselves a silly dance in the rain fall. I have seen children too afraid to ask the simplest of questions, but yet near the end, all I have ever witnessed in each person nothing more than deep regret. What becomes a need to reach self-actualization is too often, ignored. For example over a year ago, a good friend of mine passed along an invitation to attend a “wedding” celebration for her grandmother. I use the word wedding loosely because in fact her grandmother and her long lost love did not betroth in the eyes of law, just spiritually for retiree financial reasons. Still though to them, it was a true testament to their love. I was invited to this wedding because I have tried and coached her grandmother for many years to set aside her woes so she could have some happiness this late in her life. For 60 years, these long lost lovers danced around their own passions. For 60 years they did nothing but deny themselves the simple embrace of each other. Their story in life was quite a feud of old world opinions, status having a priority over love etc. It was a glorious wedding, a perfect ending to a fairy tale. Sadly almost a year to that day, her love died. I must say I was more in remorse then she when I received the call from her personally. In this same conversation, she was very calm, but only when she returned the same quote that I had given her countless times, did she finally break down. It was a simple rebuttal to an argument that occurred for several years prior to the wedding.

“At least even if he dies, you still get a few good years, better that then wondering a life time of what could have happened and lying on your death bed full of regret.”

She cried not for loss, but for finally having happiness. Luckily, she did not hold back, but imagine if she did. How would she feel if they did not finally pursued their own path? This is just one example of the many situations that could arise in a lifetime, far deeper than my persistent thoughts of poutine now pulling at my stomach like a puppy in a chew tow tug of war. While writing this post, I have been struggling to find that perfect quote to inspire others and although I have not yet, I am confident that this little memory will set the example I am trying to demonstrate. Perhaps there will never be one golden phrase to do such a task. Perhaps there are too many different scenarios in this world to lump together in one thoughtful life rule. I am very lucky in my life to have such freedom as I have had and even more now with my wonderful wife. I just wish in some way I could easily pass on every situation I have witnessed and why I am such a light heart.

Omitting, for now, the perfect end quote and while rushing to finish this post in favour of my new found poutine craving *looks at the clock* which I believe I can still obtain before closing time, I just ask to each and every reader:

Please everyone, don’t be afraid to be yourself and to follow those paths which bring internal happiness, especially in regards to travelling the world. Yes there are a lot of hindrances to obtaining some goals in life, but there is always a solution. Don’t be afraid. There is always a way, once you put your mind to it.

It can be scary, to break out from your comfort zone, but once you decide to plunge forward, the entire world will open up to you with warm arms and dazzle you with those little miracles. True happiness is in your reach.

Go ahead, book that trip to Bali, or Iceland. Or are you waiting until the next life to build up the nerve to get around to it? Inthe end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. Don’t be afraid to live

(Yes! I found a ending quote with 20 minutes left to Poutinary!)

Gregory and Laura Brinkmann are travel, lifestyle and wedding photographers based out of Ontario, Canada who adore traveling. Please follow Brink of the World for more tips, ideas, and advice... and sometimes just some silliness.

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