One of my very favorite TV shows was Everybody Loves Raymond.
I guess being Italian-American from Brooklyn, NY I could certainly relate to the show and the characters.
I enjoyed the show so much that I’ve recorded many of my favorite episodes. Even though I’ve watched them many times, I still laugh out loud.
One of my favorite episodes is entitled, Talk to Your Daughter.
In this episode, Raymond decides he is going to be a responsible parent and answer what he thinks are his daughter, Ally’s, questions concerning sex. Only he’s blindsided.
Ally doesn’t want to know where babies come from. Instead, she asks, “Why are babies here? Why are we born? Why does God put us here?”
Mayhem ensues; but it got me thinking that each of us has a purpose and so do our dreams.
THINK FOR YOURSELF
Growing up in a family of staunch Italian-American Catholics doesn’t give much room to think for oneself. It was, basically, you believe what you’re told to believe.
My dad, Ralph, was the outlier.
In my one-woman show, It’s Only Lipstick, I described my father as the liberal, intellectual agnostic who was able to separate himself emotionally from all the chaos, when he could.
He was an architect; and was grounded in the realities of science, especially math. He studied philosophy and opened his mind to exploring and discovering greater knowledge, so he could learn and grow. He was and independent thinker; and he wanted my sister and I to think for ourselves.
At the dinner table, he would encourage discussions on current events and play devil’s advocate. He wanted to see if my sister and I could substantiate our beliefs and debate our positions on different issues.
Since my grandmother was the female Archie Bunker and would often eat dinner with us, family discussions often turned into heated arguments and then…
Now, fast forward to when I was in my thirties. My father and I were chatting on the phone and catching up on life. We somehow started talking about divine creation vs. evolution.
During a trip to Israel, I had a spiritual experience that changed my life. Thinking for myself, I embarked on a spiritual journey to understand the basis of what I believed. Blind faith was not an option. Because of my studies, I just couldn’t accept evolution as the reason for my being here. I believe my life has a purpose and I’m not here by chance.
My father and I rarely argued; but things got testy.
My father had a bit of a temper. We called him Mt. Vesuvius; and I never wanted to be on that side of him.
Taking a gulp, I asked my father, “How does a building get built?” I heard a pregnant pause and he said, “What?” Again, “You’re an architect. “How does a building get built?”
He started to explain that the building needs to be designed. Blueprints get developed and then approved. Then, the plans are put into action; the building’s foundation gets laid. And, so on.
After his explanation, I simply asked, “You mean a building doesn’t just happen?”
This is the only time my father ever hung up on me.
START WITH PASSION
Figuring out our purpose is certainly not easy; but we each have a starting point.
I spent a lifetime ignoring what I was passionate about; but the seed was always there.
Since childhood, I wanted to be an actress. Instead of pursuing this “irresponsible” career, I chose to pursue a career in marketing in the beauty industry.
Yet, throughout my life, I’ve marveled at the creativity of expression in the arts.
I’ve always reveled in going to the theater, the movies and watching TV. To this day, I get so moved by stories and performances that touch me deeply either through laughter or tears.
I remember vacationing in Rome and visiting the Sistine Chapel.
I was so overcome viewing the majesty of one man’s inspiration and creativity I just sat on one of the benches and wept. I was in awe and couldn’t move for quite some time.
Although it’s taken many years, I am allowing my passion to take center stage; and to my surprise and glee, my purpose has emerged.
Whether it be through laughter, encouragement, mentoring or compassion, my heart’s desire has always been to touch people in some way.
What I have learned most of all is that my dream is bigger than myself.
I never anticipated that my one-woman show would turn into a blog that would allow me to share life lessons with the hope of encouraging and inspiring others to go after their dreams.
DESTINED TO DREAM
A famous cliché in Hollywood is “it’s all about me”.
Maybe that’s true in a close-up on camera; but in life I disagree…
I believe that we are knitted together and that our dreams, no matter how big or small, touch someone else.
I believe each of us has a passion that does deep. I believe each of us has a dream. I believe each of us has a purpose. I believe we are all able to…
And remember…it’s never to late to go after your dreams!