A Man On Fire. That's been my online profile description ever since I created my online presence several years ago. It was conceived expediently to convey my core essence without divulging any public information about myself. As I ponder expanding my profile description, I thought I'd examine my current one more closely.
A Man On Fire was adopted to convey the urgency of my passions. Those include my passion for writing and my passion for living. When you're on fire, it's urgent. The flames burn brighter each passing moment, culmination is unknown. As the fire grows, so does the urgency. I hope to exit in a fierce, fiery blaze when the fire finishes with me, something like a Phoenix, I guess.
It wasn't always this way. I think the fire started shortly after my sister-in-law passed away after valiantly battling cancer. I always thought she'd prevail, but was forced to reexamine the frailty of life and our time to live it. I realized how many things I had procrastinated about, or avoided altogether as a result of low confidence. I decided to change that if I could, without knowing quite how. I didn't realize yet that I had been set on fire.
I inadvertently became a local activist. I started a career in real estate alongside my occupation. I started to learn guitar. Still unaware, the fire continued to grow.
A life-changing business trip to Vail made me aware. I returned home with new perspective and for the first time, discovered I was on fire. My instinct told me to stop, drop and roll to smother the flames, but I didn't. Instead, I ran. And I ran hard.
I resurrected my writing passion, leaped headlong into a unique run for local political office, and focused on building more meaningful relationships with everyone I knew. More family and friends met their end along the way which galvanized my resolve to live life on purpose. Be positive. Encourage others. Make a worthwhile daily difference. Be more compassionate. Write. Connect. Share. The fire engulfed me.
I turn 50 years old in a few weeks. Though I'm healthy (except for the raging fire,) I'm aware of the limited time that fire can continue to burn, even if I get the reasonable life expectancy. I'm as motivated as ever to fan the flames. Every single day is still a challenge to live up to my self-imposed expectations. I often fail. I'm not deterred. As I said, as long as I go out in a blaze, I've succeeded.
So, despite still being A Man On Fire, I'm likely to revamp my profile description a bit to include some literal explanation of my passions. My ultimate hope is that as my last spark flickers, it ignites someone else.