As anyone reading this blog already knows, things have hit the fan here in the Middle East. I have tons of moving, incredible stories I can't wait to tell you about the last two weeks in Israel, but before I get to all that, I wanted to make sure you know I'm still breathing.
As ususal, conflict and war looks way worse on TV, but there is still plenty of fear in the air here. The rockets got a little too close for comfort a couple days ago, so Lara and I have moved to a city that hasn't been targeted by Hezbollah. I fly out on the morning of July 19th and Lara leaves late on the night of the 20th, so we'll both be completely out of harm's way soon.
Thank you to everyone who's checked in and to those who kept us in your prayers. Please keep the positive energy flowing to this part of the world long after this conflict fades from the front page. On all sides the pain runs deep, the memories are long, and lack of understanding seems insurmountable at times. Wars have raged here for thousands of years, but we can never lose hope that there is a better way...
I heard once that "an unexamined life is not worth living." While at times it seems that I may "over-examine" my life, there is a part of me that wishes I would have kept downloading my thoughts over the last year. Regret is a choice, so I'm working not to choose that path today, but just know that I missed sharing my life with you over the last 365+ days.
I am writing from a crowded internet cafe just outside the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel right now, but I don't want to start with the end of the story. Since writing about the importance of not letting your weekends run together (July 1, 2005), I've spent a year fighting the battle between living in the moment and working for a powerful future. Some highlights from my hummus-tainted memory include:
- Summitting three different 14,000+ foot peaks throughout the Rocky Mountains
- Re-connecting with my brother & two sisters during the 1st annual "Reid Sibling Reunion"
- Volunteering with six amazing friends in the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort
- Rafting the Royal Gorge nine days after someone died on the river (Genius)
- Working to make a lasting difference as part of FMI's Leadership Group
- Deciding to pursue my MBA at the USC Marshall School of Business
- Continuing my search for spirituality, truth, and meaning in the chaos
- Dodging keg carts and nudists in my first ever Bay to Breakers
- Strengthening friendships with strong, loving souls in over 20 states and two countries
- Watching two of my best friends tie the knot with two fabulous women
Mmmmm...my life in eleven bullets. If you're reading this, I hope you are having a wonderful day. I hope you can feel your heart pumping healthy blood through your veins. I hope you've found a way to say "I love you" to someone today. I hope you are finding ways to value and treasure this moment, since there's a good chance you won't live to see over 50 more summers in your lifetime. I hope you can see, and enjoy, the magic all around you.
Life is good...