Strange, odd, quaint, eccentric, peculiar were some of the adjectives used by acquaintances, neighbors and others to describe my grandfather, a grand old man of 87 years. Unique, singular, original, non-conformist and learned was how I saw and described him. My grandfather was an extremely well read man, way ahead of his time, with great love for prose and poetry. He often spoke in verse and phrases not stopping to explain the meaning or connotations but repeating them often. His favorite one for me was “Life is about using the whole box of crayons”
I have been fortunate to have enjoyed his company and wisdom for the better part of my life. However, it is only on his passing that I have been able to truly understand and appreciate the depth of that phrase. I am an introvert, shy and not a very social person. In this time and age where self-projection and assertion are considered to be the companions of a millennial, I fail miserably.
At work, I was chosen to represent my firm at a prestigious seminar. Definitely a huge honor! However, my apprehensions and fears engulfed me and I was on the brink of refusing that opportunity. I did not want to come out of my comfort zone. Thankfully Grandfather’s words rang in my ears and I with some reservations took up the offer. Never have regrets in life, don’t doubt, have confidence, travel, build relationships, gain knowledge is what he would have wanted me to do. Giving heed to the wise man’s advice I packed for that overnight trip. My backpack and duffle bag were just appropriate to help me carry all my requirements to make my trip complete and comfortable. That one decision has now transformed me completely. I am comfortable coming out from my comfort zone, seizing every opportunity that life gives me with the right attitude. Now, I am no longer an EMM, I am no longer an excuse making machine.
Short trips for work and pleasure have now become a norm of the day for me. I no longer think of it as an uprooting of routine but an opportunity to create my own sunshine. My faithful companions are my thoughts and my backpack. I am ready to use my entire box of crayons and color my life with experiences from travel and wonderful opportunities that I have been blessed with. Grandpa’s words for me are now etched in stone. No longer concerned about the nitty gritty of travel and packing, with full faith in my ever-ready companion I set out confidently on every opportunity I get.