Three Things to Remember
by C.K. Volnek
I recently had the great fortune of hearing a powerful young man speak. The man was Curtis Tomasevich, a member of the 2010 Olympic Gold Medal USA Bobsled team. He's a local celebrity from Shelby, Nebraska, a little town in the middle of nowhere, population 670. But Curt sang great accolades to his little home town. He credited them for allowing his dream to become reality. Before becoming a gold medal olympian, he was a struggling athlete with monumental financial needs in order to make it to the Olympics. Without a medal, he was just another guy, competing as a member of a bobsled team. No sponsorships, no job, no rich relatives.
At a plea from Curt's parents, his townfolk went to work. They held benefits and street dances to raise money for Curt. While Curt's teammates were happy to broadcast their metropolitan home towns were raising a few thousand dollars for their needs, Curt blushed and revealed that his family and friends had raised over $25,000. Yes, you read it right, over twenty-five thousand dollars! Not bad for a little town of 670.
As Curt continued his talk, I couldn't help but grasp onto his 'three things to remember.' He said...
1. Remember where you came from.
2. Remember where you are.
3. Remember where you want to be.
I have posted these three simple statements by my computer. Though I may not view them exactly as Curt, the three things to remember have a profound meaning to me.
1. Remember where you came from. For me, it is to remember who your family is, your friends, those who have helped you on your way. Remember your struggles. Remember your accomplishments. For all your past has made you the person you are today. Embrace your past, good and bad, and rejoice in the person it has made you. There is none like you.
2. Remember where you are now. This is an easy one for me to forget. I think about the past. I think of the future. But many times I forget to think about the present. I forget to be thankful for the very moment I am living, for all the thing I have and for all the things I don't have. Remember the present, for that is what it is...a present, a gift of life.
3. Remember where you want to be. I can't help but smile as I think of this one. Everyone needs a dream, something to go after with all your heart and soul. I, myself, had always dreamt of writing novels. But life got in the way for many years. I pushed my dream aside, but I didn't throw it away. I finally pulled that dream back out, dusted it off and got to work. Now, I have three middle-grade novels under contract. Sure, I wish I would have dusted it off sooner, but I think I needed that time to grow into the person I am, able to write these stories now. But to me, the key was, I kept my dream. I didn't give up on it. If I had, I would have missed out on the joy I felt by completing those books and signing my contracts.
These 'three things to remember' are a wonderful tribute to Curt Tomasievich. And to me, they merge into every aspect of my life, from my family, to my home town, to my writing. Where would my writing be without them?
Without the past, I would not have the experiences that flavor my stories. I would not be able to create the characters from all those people that have left their imprint on my life.
As for the present. It is a gift to be able to write. It makes me happy to open my heart and mind and create, my fingers trying to keep up as my muse blasts story after story.
Where I want to be? I'm always striving for more, to write that next book that will touch my reader's heart and make him or her sigh when they've finished reading it. Without my dream, my desire, I am just a body, going through the day to day motions, ever searching for what makes me happy. But with my dream, I have a direction steering me to do what I have been created to do.
So, relish who you are, where you came from and where you are going. Seize the day and celebrate, for there is only one you. Keep your dreams alive and go after them. Few are born with natural talent, but many are talented because they believe in their dream and do what they have to do to make it come true.