Before you replace anything, it needs to exist. A Friendship is a special beast within the realm of Relationships. Friendships aren’t are easy. Trust me, real friendships are easy. They do, however, evolve like anything else. It’s a two-way street.
It was my seventh week on St. John when I saw the baby iguana. He could have been born the day I arrived, but most likely after. One thing was clear; thislittle guy was new to the world.
Curiosity, when peaked, is a great feeling. Seeing something (or someone) new for the first time can be rousing.
At the time, I was sick, and had been for nearly a week. I vomited daily and slept like shit. All I thought about was how awful I felt.
My mindset became my mind trap.
That is, until: “Look! Shiny object!”
Right Place, Right Time
The iguana caught my eye as he ran across the outdoor deck. He was a green – a brilliant hue of green – unlike any iguana I’ve ever seen.
Instantly, nothing else mattered. My mind was entirely focused on the iguana.
He was moving fast! I didn’t expect to get close to him, much less get pictures. I thought for sure he’d be gone in a flash.
Lucky for me, he fucked up. Lucky for him, I’m not an asshole.
Welcome to the World Vivarium, Little One!
He couldn’t have known what was about to happen. Like fish jumping out of the water and and into a net – whatever he was chasing led him straight into a trap.
He was caught between two doors and could only see the world from behind a screen.
He was so busy looking one direction, he didn’t notice the solution was right behind him. All he had to do was turn around and walk away. Easier said than done, apparently.
Now Iguana Have Some Fun With You
He was easy to manipulate in such confined space. From inside the house, I made him look larger than life – as most people do, with themselves, from the comfort of their keyboards. But, he wasn’t a troll. He was more like Godzilla!
Help Those in Need
Never tell an iguana that he looks like Godzilla. I don’t know why, but he didn’t find it funny. Obviously, he was stuck in a rut and didn’t know what to do. On the inside, he wasn’t as bright. He lost the spunk he had when he first caught my eye.
He looked bored, anxious, and wanted to be free.
He had no friends on this side of the screen. There was nowhere to run on this side of the screen. His side of the screen had limits. He was held back on this side of the screen. Basically, he was trapped, alone, and unable to physically navigate his world. He could only watch everything happen, whatever it was, from his little space.
It was time for him to go.
I had to help this little guy out of his fresh hell and get back to life – without scaring or harming him. That meant, no hands near the iguana. He was frightened by hands.
I Know You Can Do It
The iguana wasn’t coming out of the space on his own so a friend and I tried to help. We detached the screen, then flipped it. He was no longer on the inside looking out; he was outside looking in.
Immediately, he looked brighter, healthier, and more hopeful than ever. He didn’t move. He just sat there, staring at the world over his shoulder.
Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose
Barriers are restricting and remind us of what we can potentially accomplish. That is, if you don’t succumb to a spiral.
It took time, but the iguana grew tired of sitting still and staring at a screen. Eventually, he looked away from the filtered world and hopped onto the deck.
He landed on his feet, stood still for a minute, and analyzed his situation.
Now on the deck, he could see the house, and wanted to get as far away as possible – as quickly as possible.
When freedom’s at risk, there’s no time to waste.
Iguana Break Free!
When the iguana turned around, my heart sank. There was nothing I could do as he launched himself off the porch.
The ground was 25-feet below deck.
The thing about the real world is this. Shit gets real. Sometimes, too real. Isolating yourself is one hell of a way to find out what that means.
The iguana had a rough morning that day, but don’t worry about him. I have good news.
He landed on his feet, stood still for a minute, and analyzed his situation.
He was free to explore his natural environment. Hell, he was free to do whatever his heart desired. With that, the iguana disappeared into the forest.
I noticed I felt human again. I didn’t feel nauseous. In fact, I felt better than I had in days.
Opportunities knock all the time, but it’s not always easy to know which ones to grab. Right or wrong, every opportunity is a chance to learn. The more we learn, the better we become. Sometimes, being better requires us to feel worse than ever before.
Onward and upward!
I’ve spent a lot of time wishing I’d made better decisions in life. It’s fun to think about how things could be different if I only just…
However, that’s a waste of time. My past made me who I am today. Now is not the time for coulda shoulda woulda didn’t stories. There’s no sense beating yourself up over shit you didn’t do. If you want to change anything, apply the knowledge gained from the lessons life has given you and commit to being better – not bitter.
Nobody lives while dwelling in the past. Nobody lives being trapped in a loop. Nobody lives when they’re not present. I’ve been there. It’s a self sentenced purgatory. Being alive without living is a lonely place. Eventually, I had to ask myself, “Do I want to live life or lose it?”
I Chose to Live
In June, an opportunity knocked hard and loud and it was unlike any other before. How it happened is another story for another time, but a friend of mine was hell bent on leaving Arizona. Scottsdale held too many reminders of things gone wrong for both of us.
We needed to go far away with relaxing with beautiful beaches, surrounded by the blue water, where people appreciate life. Somewhere disconnected from the U.S. version of the real world; a place completely different.
One place came to mind; a tucked away island in the Caribbean, the smallest U.S. Virgin Island known as St. John.
It started as a bad idea. Within 24 hours, we were in flight to paradise. Nothing says ‘I don’t give a fuck’ like booking a one-way trip on a private jet. If my friend is one thing, he’s fearless.
I had a breakdown that morning. It was the craziest turn of events I’d ever witnessed. He was dead serious and I was waiting for the punchline. I didn’t even pack.
My younger self didn’t need to remind me what to do with this once in a lifetime opportunity.
I had 30 minutes to throw my shit in a bag and hop in the car.
Back to Life, Back to Reality
After 68 days on St. John, I returned to Scottsdale. My friend stayed. It was an opportunity for which I will forever be grateful. It inspired me in ways I never expected. The trip changed my life. It reminded me that it’s good to be alive.
Wake Up, Travis!
Ok, so you’re not technically an ‘it’, but your life is. This is it! Does it get any better? That, my friend, is entirely up to you.
This is your dream life!
You – yes you – the person reading (and writing) this right now – we’re part of a unique team brought together (or otherwise connected) by incredibly rare circumstances that led us to the right place, at the right time.
Coincidence? It doesn’t matter. Somehow, we’ve crossed paths and it’s about time we have this conversation.
You sacrificed a lot in life early on. Remember? It doesn’t matter what you could have done different. We can play that game for the rest of our lives. Right now, it’s sudden death and the net is wide open. Missing this opportunity is unacceptable.
Life is what you make it so make it great. Your own story should inspire you. Focus on what matters, stay positive, and roll with the punches. Nobody said this would be easy!
They Knock so Softly
You are your #1 priority. Timing is everything and your time is now. Always look after #1. Know how to put your self first without being selfish. Then, you can be selfless. The more you help yourself, the better you’ll be helping others.
Pay attention to your state of mind. Don’t lose sight of your goals, sacrifice your happiness, or devalue your worth. Always exercise your mind. Spend your spare time doing things that make you feel something. The fall from the cliff hanging above rock bottom is hard and fast. Stay on top.
Ditch the device life. Technology is useful if you know how to use it. There’s a vast difference between the world I see outside than the world I see online. Go see for yourself.
Be better than good. Good things happen to good people, but being good is only the beginning. Actively participate in life. Stay aware of your surroundings. Treat others with kindness. Honestly is the best thing for sleeping well at night. Know yourself by being self aware at all times. Most importantly, do the right thing.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting caught up in some bullshit, so stay out of it.
Nurture friendships.Who wants to be alone? Nobody. Reach out to an old friend right now.
Always ask, “why?”Curiosity won’t kill you, but lacking it will.