“I believe that everyone has a story. Everyone has dreams. They’re just waiting for the opportunity to take that adventure and go for it.” – TJ Smith
My buddy TJ, with the help of Canon, put together this film to help encourage and inspire others to tell a better story, to bring it. And through this challenge, he decided to gift his friends with one of their dreams they hadn’t been able to accomplish for whatever reason. And it really resonated with me.
When I put together my new life list, you may have noticed a little comment on one of them — the one about the national parks — about visiting the ones my grandfather had visited.*
Grandpa meant a lot to me, and after his funeral this year, I found myself lamenting that I hadn’t taken the time to record any of his stories. There were so many stories. So many stories. I don’t recall one single visit at Grandma and Grandpa’s where we didn’t hear one story — it may have been one we heard before, but still.
And as a child, those stories also came with a slide show. I loved setting up the screen and projector to click through reel after reel of slides. My favorites were from their trips to Alaska and the National Parks. And Grandpa and I could talk about the parks for days. We’d look through National Geographic together, and watch VHS documentaries over and over again.
We’d talk about how he wanted to take us to Yosemite and Yellowstone, to start out the parks. Or a family trip and cruise to Alaska with my dad, aunt, and all of us grandkids (though there were only 3 of us when he was considering this). I’d be daydreaming about Devil’s Tower and Redwoods and orca sightings…
It’s probably not surprising that one of my dreams is to visit the same National Parks and monuments that grandpa did. It’s part of a sort of bucket list project to incorporate more of his life and adventures into my own journey. It’s part tribute, part expedition. If I can’t remember his stories, then at least parts of them can be the basis for some new ones for me.
I really don’t want this to be a dream that gets away or only lives in the ether. I need this one to come true — if only for the simple reason that I miss my grandpa so much. So my dad’s helping me come up with a list of the parks and monuments he visited, and well, I’ve got to get working on saving up for this grand adventure.
So what are your dreams that you haven’t been able to get started on, but just can let go?
*Also on that list is “do a barrel roll in a pup plane” — which is another great story from my grandpa, only I hope when I do it, the top doesn’t come off the plane!