Kinda strange and almost cinematic at the conversation I found my self in with a complete stranger today. What started out as simple stroll through the High Line in New York City, turned into a little photo opportunity, which turned into a moment of inspiration.
I stopped for a minute to take a few shots over looking the traffic under us, when a gentlemen with an accent I’m far too familiar with complimented me on the photo I’d just captured. I turned and thanked him humbly and went back to taking more photos. He then decided to introduce himself and join me on my stroll through the High Line.
We made light conversation of our origins and shared our New York stories. He then caught me off guard when he asked, “so what are you doing now?” I paused for a minute quite puzzled, because I thought I had thoroughly explained to him my reason for being in New York. Catching the look on my face made him laugh. “I know why you are here, but are you doing it now?” I looked down and said, “kind of, I’m working on it. Got a bit more planning to do.”
“Just do it! Stop hesitating. You’re here now, so don’t sit still. Planning is done now give yourself something to write about,” cheering me on emphatically with fisted hands in the air. I couldn’t help but laugh at his enthusiasm and optimism. His randomness was contagious and so refreshing.
It suddenly dawned on me. I spend a majority of my time planning, just planning! Not that planning is necessary, but that’s only the first step. Plans are nothing without action, and faith without works is dead. So I can sit here and plan and hope all day long, but sometimes you just need to dive in and do it. Waiting for a good time to start could have me sitting on the sidelines for the rest of my life if I’m not careful. And you certainly don’t get memorable experiences just planning things out.
Umberto may be a humble mechanic back in Brazil, but he’s lived one hell of life so far and never let his circumstances dictate his outcome. He’s been to nine different countries, surfed in Australia, and still makes sure he’s in Portugal to see his family for the holidays. Most of his most memorable adventures came from the things that he didn’t plan and to no surprise, he has no regrets. I’ve made tons of new plans this month for the future, time for step two, the doing.
Sometimes it takes a complete stranger with a different perspective to give you the clarity that you’ve been needing. Now, by no means am I encouraging you to run around your city or neighborhood talking to random people. I’m just saying sometimes it’s good to listen and let yourself be inspired. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from some grand light in the sky. It could be something as simple as a random stranger.
And with that, back to my writing and adventures in The City. I would hate to miss out on another inspiration.