Pause. Reflect. Continue.
I'd like to preface this post with the notion of me using it as a visual reminder to my future self. A reminder that it is ok to stop, be still, take stock of things and get a few deep breaths before jumping back onto the merry-go-round of life.
If I could, I would love to show this image taken yesterday (fresh from swimming in the Baltic Sea with such a surreal backdrop on the beach) to myself as a young boy. To show the scared child who was unsure about what the future held (what the next meal was?) unsure of my identity, unsure if I was good enough, if I would make my father who was no longer alive, proud.
I’d show little Ray this, and tell him ‘everything you wish for will come your way and you will be given the desires of your heart...’
‘You’ll find the most supportive partner in the world, you will both be strong in the areas the other isn’t, you’ll travel to the places you’ve only dreamed and read about, you’ll make a living doing what you love, you will find success - within and throughout, you’ll break the curses of suicide and alcoholism that has generationally plagued both sides of your family - all from the thing that has never left your side.’
Thank God for the Ocean!
I used to have a little cut-out sheet on my wall as a kid that was from Booker T Washington and it read; “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” I still think of it from time to time and I’m still learning what it means for me.
If by some chance you're reading this, thanks for following along the journey.