“Make it so,” is the often-heard directive from Captain Jean Luc Picard on the Star Trek series The Next Generation, and I am more and more inclined to make it my own.
This week marks my 45th anniversary here on planet Earth. If you’re anywhere near my age, you know this feeling: things are beginning to feel a little familiar. The things I’ve always wanted to do, the places I’ve always wanted to go, the hopes and dreams, follow me along like a satellite on a fairly consistent trajectory. Round and round they go.
But for several years now, I have made it my mission to boldly go where I have not gone before—those places I’ve always thought about or talked about or dreamed about.
In 2006, it was le grande voyage—a two-week adventure in France. “For my fortieth birthday,” I told my friend DeLinda, “I want to go to Paris.” And somehow, we planned and saved and took the time off and made it so.
Since then, my adventures have been a little closer to home. I travel as I can, where I can. But, each birthday, I ask myself: what new thing do I want to do this year?
“I want to explore New York City more,” I said to my friend Martha a few years back. So, for my birthday in 2008, I hopped on a train and spent the day in Central Park and the halls and galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2009, I stood at the top of the Empire State Building, and this year, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with my dear friend Tara.
It may sound a little pompous, but as I stood at the center of the bridge yesterday I thought: I am here because I said so. And that is the key!
I have spent a lot of time these past few weeks thinking about the familiarity of my life; the constant of those hopes and dreams that remain just that. What I realized (read: remembered) yesterday is that if never give them the directive—if I never say “I am going to France,” or “I am going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge”—I never will.
“To seek out new life,” reads the Starship Enterprise’s mission statement. Starting this week, so does mine!
“It’s kind of symbolic, walking across a bridge mid-life,” noted my friend MaryAnne. Indeed—about as symbolic as this message I spotted on the other side of the bridge: Seize the day. The Hour Flies.