We all have these incredible opportunities to live out our lives differently but there is always something that is holding us back. Call it an insecurity that resides within ourselves. Something that took a hold of us a long time. It dulled that sparkle that we used to look at the world with. Wide eyes and a hunger for knowledge that could only be quenched by an unabandoned curiosity that begged us to push our limits. I was always a curious child. Getting into things. Making messes. Destined to walk down a different path without a care in the world. I didn’t have a care in the world. The world was my oyster and all that jazz until something somewhere took a hold of me.Conforming to what I thought was reality I became depressed and sluggish. Living a life that I thought we were all meant to live. Work, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Don’t dare to dream. You are too tired for those. Dreams are meant for the youth. Then they dissipitate into thin air becoming rain pouring throughout your life. There will always be ups but you are more concerned with the downs. That is where some want you to stay. Too down to dare to live differently. Too down to ask yourself what if. I will accept the things I can not change as my destiny and I will begin hardened by the process of it all. Forgetting about how to live a life differently until a gust of wind took my sails and began to turn me back on course. It’s strange to think that what really began your journey in the wrong direction was the misguided advice handed down to us during school. I love school for the knowledge part. We should all be exposed to different subjects, people and places. How else will we truly know what makes our heart sing and awakens our soul. The farther away from being able to identify ourselves the harder it becomes to like what you see. What do you see when you like in the mirror? Grey hairs, wrinkles, the sagging of jowls? Does this bother you? Is it upsetting to you when you are getting on in years you relfect back on your life and a part of you cringes with disgust. If you are one of the lucky one’s to make it to 80 do you shudder at the thought of how you treated your fellow man or even worse the animals we share the planet with. As we transgress into old age how many of us begin to fill ourself with regrets and taunts of how we should have began to live our lives way back when.The reality is we all have to work. We live in a communist country in that sense. We are dictated to by our leaders who make choices that affect our lives detrimentally yet we still feel our voices will never be loud enough to be heard. The suppression of our early childhood thoughts have lead us to believe that what we feel and how we feel it might be wrong. That all we are here for is to work, die and pay taxes. Ask any working Canadian if that is true and you will her a deafening yes. Right here in Alberta my home province we have seen 18,000 people lose their jobs. These are in the social service department that serves us and our children. This was a direct attack on our health care and educational systems. We are seeing the closure of iconic stores haunt our once booming streets. It feels like we are getting pushed into a Ghost Town with our fearless leader mocking us. How is this all happening right before Christmas? To top this all off there will be a limitless amount of suicide as the haunting fear of failure grips a hold of those in their most desperate times. Who wants to reach out to the same government system that is failing us. In fact we had one man shoot himself on the Alberta Legislative Steps during a controversial meeting i the building. They were looking at passing a bill for assisted suicide. He waas a veteran who served our country and in the end he stood tall in order for the government to take notice that there needs to be a change. Imagine. His last sacrifice here on Earth was to try and save more of the Canadians that he came to love.I used to think that living a long life was the true indication of a life well lived. I used to want to be loved by everybody and let that fear of being isolated control who I wanted to be. Once I realized what I needed to make my heart sing the rest became easy. I remember reading in “How to Hepburn” that one of her rules was to think yourself to be the most interesting. Now the definition of interesting lays in your hands. What would it take for you to be moved by your own life? It is an incredible feeling as you let the natural course of your life unfold. You take this chances in life where you are unsure of the outcome but you know the greatest failure is in not trying at all. Crowds and people will always make me nervous. But I am more nervous in not making a difference in my own life that I have learned to take risks. I also learned that I love taking artistic photos that capture the feelings that I have towards the world. I love the idea of loving recklessly when it comes to friends and even in bringing in all these animals. My pets enhance my life. Even though I know there will be a time when we will no longer be together. I try to hold onto the faith that if there is something to life after death then I know that in loving them we will meet again. I have also come to acknowledge that I do fear death. I fear death in the sense that I am scared to leave those I love behind or have those I love leave me. The greatest tragedy is in not loving at all. Love is always worth the chance. So when it comes to these lil creatures who only want to share their life with me then I have to find the courage to share my life with them. My biggest regret that I am learning to let go is that I was not there in the vet office when they assisted our Herbert over the rainbow bridge. I wish I had the strength to hold him as he took his last breath, look into his eyes one last time and held onto him till I couldn’t hold onto anymore. Maybe that is why I find myself surrounded with a house full of animals. To proove to myself and to him that his life meant something to me. That in death he taught me the most powerful gift of all. Nothing will ever compare to the most basic of human compassion which I am finding so many of us now lack. In death he taught me to tear down my walls and unharden my soul. That every life has a purpose and every life has this beautiful meaning. That in acknowledging who we truly are then we can finally live free. I am learning that I am strong and I can withstand a lot of pain. My life purpose is to absorb enough of that pain so others may not have to. Compassion is my greatest gift. Becoming familiar with it will allow me to heal those around me and in time maybe the World.