Monday, January 24, 2011

Stand Up, Take the Chance

Every now and then, there is a time to become retrospective. You know, to stare back at your past and contemplate past situations.
The other day, I bought pickles. Someone I know didn’t like pickles at all and often would say, “Eww, gross.” Sometimes the sound “blech” would even be uttered.
Yum.... pickles.
I like pickles. I also like olives. Ok, so sometimes, I really like salty things that have a vinegar kind of taste, and I will walk for miles until I find them.
When I was younger, I gave advice to friends who were at that time the age that I am now. I would say, “If there’s something you want, do it.” 
Of course, I assumed all known consequences would be taken into consideration and they wouldn’t actually do anything that could get them into trouble.
So, here I am, the other day, standing at my kitchen counter staring at this jar of pickles. Then, it dawned on me, I really wanted those pickles. In fact, I wanted them just as much as I wanted olives in 1994. 
Almost 17 years ago, I was in Spain. My parents sent me there as part of an Educational Foreign tour (which I highly recommend, by the way). Towards the last leg of the trip, I was staying somewhere along the Costa del Sol and enjoying the sunshine. It was just hours before my 14th birthday and I had a hankering for something salty. Not just salty, I wanted olives. 
So, I gathered up my little backpack and I started walking along a boardwalk, a sidewalk along the beach. I walked, and I walked, and I really do not know how long I walked. Yet, clear as if it were two minutes ago, I remember walking, turning left into a store, and darting straight for “cans of stuff.” I sure was persistent. I found my olives, I bought them with whatever little money I had left, and walked all the way back to my hotel room. I don’t even remember how I opened the can, but I sat there and I ate every single olive. I even stuck the olives on my fingers, and ate them off of the tips, just as if I were 7 again.

The point is, I wanted those olives (or pickles, I would have taken pickles). I knew that eating them wouldn’t hurt me, so I took the risk, or rather, the chance, of walking along that boardwalk by myself in search of something that, in that moment, was so important.
That stand up and take charge desire carries with me through today. 
On March 30, 1999, 5 years after my olive pursuit, and 2 years after a several mile walk through London to find Dr. Pepper (yet, another story), I sat down to write something about taking charge. 
I stumbled across it recently, in this green hand-written journal I've been keeping since 1997. Now, I believe it resonates with the entire focus of doing something. 
In part, it reads:
“You’ve got to take the chance.
Never wash your hands.
Let them run through your hair.
You’ve got to give yourself praises.
Never be a bum.
You can do more than chew gum.
You’ve got to take charge.
Never let your ambition die. 
You know you can claim all your fame.
If you know there’s something you want to do,
Get up the courage.
Stand up, take the chance.
If you know there’s something you want to do
Get up, take charge.
Never walk away, it doesn’t matter
if you’re ten minutes late.” 
I think that now I could add a line to the part there in bold. Remember Lee Ann Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance,” well, just remember “Stand up, take the chance, I Hope You Dance.” 

Or, Martina McBride, and her song “Anyway.” Unlike that first part, it’s not about fame. It’s just about doing something good just because it makes you, or someone else, smile. 


  1. Nope, it certainly doesn't matter if you show up a little late...what matters is that you made the effort to go....I love that this can be applied to just about anything that matters.

    we're afraid to take the chance, but when we do, it often has so many benefits, both intended and unintended.

  2. Oh my goodness, I think I have pictures of the Dr. Pepper that we finally found! Too bad none of those pictures are digital...They're stuck in some album at my parents' house. :(

  3. Jennifer, thanks for stopping by! I think I have a picture at my parents house I can resurrect and scan at some point. If I remember correctly, there is a picture of just my hand holding a can.


Let Me Know What You Think...

Visit InfoServe for Blogger backgrounds.