Lately has been a time of deep reflection in my life. Maybe it’s because Spring is finally here or because the Easter season always offers such hope for the future and therefore causes you to think on your past. Whatever the case, I have been thinking quite a bit lately about myself and life in general and reflecting on what my life has been and what I want it to be. And as I think about these different reflections and all of the things that have been going through my mind, I’ve stumbled upon quite a few things actually. But one thing that keeps coming to me is just a sense of wonder at life. It is a crazy, beautiful thing and offers so much. Whether life gives you lemons or lemonade, there are memories and lessons in everything. I look back on my past and can say that I have learned so many lessons and I understand that there will be more of those to learn in the future.
However, the lessons you have already learned are almost like battle wounds. You went through things to learn them, and in the end you can hold them up and say that you were able to get through those challenges and learn those lessons. I think that largely there are challenges in everything. In other words, there is a down to every up. That might sound pessimistic but bear with me. I’m not saying that things are terrible all the time, but I also understand that we have to have challenges in our lives. Just looking at basic laws of science, isn’t it accurate to say that with every up there has to be a down?
And if that is the case, I will be more than honest with saying that being a Frank fan, though incredibly wonderful and a huge part of my existence, has brought on its own unique set of challenges. I’ve waded through controversy that’s way over my head and then some. But as I go through this journey, I’ve discovered that through it all, I have learned so much. And not just about Frank himself, though if you asked me just about anything about him I could probably answer you, but about life in general. Interesting, how studying one life can teach you so much about life in general. And of these many lessons that I’ve learned, I would like to share some with you. So, here are only a few of the many things that being a Frank Sinatra fan has taught me:
- Never give up. Ever. There will be moments when the world steps all over you, and it won’t be easy. But you owe it to yourself to get back up again.
- Believe in your abilities. There are enough people on this earth telling you that you aren’t good enough or won’t accomplish your goals. You don’t have to be one of them.
- Be honest in your dreams. Frank once said that when he sang, he believed, he was honest. He felt the most open and honest when singing, when showing the world his amazing gift and what he could do. Through that gift he touched and still touches so many. I firmly believe that that honesty and passion that he put into his music was a huge part of this. Do the same with your dreams.
- Live every single moment. Live your life to the absolute fullest. Squeeze the best experiences out of life and fill your memory book to overflowing. Cherish it all.
- Don’t stop dreaming. Never stop having a dream, even if you get the point where you think you’ve seen them all come true. The world is such a beautiful place if you’ll allow it to be and there is still so much to see and to be and to do.
- In the end, friends and family are the most important. Though Frank had a huge career, he was named entertainer of the century in 2000, at the end of the day he was actually a very private person. Friends and family were intensely important to Frank and he kept himself surrounded by the people that he loved.
- Laugh. Be happy. Don’t search for happiness. Just be happy.
- Share your talents. You have no idea how far reaching your talents may go, you have no idea the people you may be able to touch if you only try.
- Live a life you won’t want to retire from. Frank attempted to retire once and then returned to his career only a few years later. I understand that at some point most of us want to retire from the regular day job. For a few people, perhaps they are lucky enough that they don’t want to do that. But whoever you are, don’t retire from your talents and dreams. From the things that make you happy.
- Face it all, stand tall, and do it your way. Of course, Frank has taught this to numberless people over the years. As I’ve thought about this song, “My Way”, I’ve realized a few different things about it. It isn’t necessarily a song about how you should tell everybody how terrible they are and that you’re going to do what you want. It could certainly be interpreted that way but that isn’t how I look at it. I see it as a song that talks about living life in a way that lets you have as few regrets as possible. Try your very hardest, do everything you can, be the best person that you can be, and in the end as long as you understand all of that it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks about you. You know the truth.
Among my many souvenirs of this journey of mine, these are the things I hold closest to my heart.