We were sitting in Jean-Georges in New York City, just a bunch of youngsters in suits and expensive hair products, lifting water glasses to our lips like this wasn’t the nicest place we’d ever been. Like talking with Donald Trump wasn’t the coolest thing we’d ever done. Like spooning chocolate mousse as billowy as clouds into our uneducated palates was something we were accustomed to doing. We raised champagne glasses and said Mazel tov through our grinning, sparkling faces. I’m not Jewish and yet I could feel the prickling sensation that we were indeed filled with good luck, and that this night would forever be marked in our collective memories. This, I told myself, was New York as my mind would forever enslave it. Buzzing with energy and richness so deep I could barely keep afloat in the pool of it, and sitting there with Trump it all seemed so bubbly and delicious.
But the most memorable thing about my time in New York was the feeling that nothing was an impediment to success. The world was just one huge shell and all we had to do is pry it open to receive our valued pearl. We were young and fearless. We would run and dash and climb up stairs in five inch heels whilst whistling and looking over our shoulders at the poor saps beneath us. And there at Jean-Georges amidst the sparkling lights, Trump gave us some essential wisdom that I’ve never forgotten. The man’s politics aside, think of his bravado, which is in part ridiculous and narcissistic but in part brilliant and glorious.
“You have got to think bigger.” He said it many times and in many ways, as if he were imparting wisdom to his children as they ran off into this big, big world.
We were a room of young big thinkers, so we thought, all nodding and soaking it all in, like we were the enlightened few that had made it. Won it. Persevered through it. Earned it. In reality we earned nothing, and our lives had amounted to very little, and we were just the recipients of good luck and pretty faces, who talent scouts found favorable. We’ve now gone on to do great things, and we’ve lived a lifetime since that night. But it was so clear and fresh then like a raspberry dropped into our champagne flutes, the bubbles rising with fury to the top.
The world, my friends, is yours.
I am reminded from time to time of this night, and this phrase, and this challenge. Am I thinking big enough? Am I reaching high enough? Did I do enough, ask enough, make enough happen? As I sit and wait for publishing houses to decide the fate of my novel, when I re-negotiate legal deals, when I sit at home cutting out construction-paper banners for my child’s birthday party, or when sit through boring dates listening to men drone on about their dull IT career, am I living up to this charge? Did I let the burdens of this world drag me down to the point of no return?
As I slog through traffic on my way to work, I pray that God will open my eyes to a brighter future. A bigger future. One so vast it seems currently impossible. I pray that He will lead me toward large lofty goals and that I will have the faith to seize them by the horns and ride them. To not allow me the security I so desire but instead throw me off the cliff so that I may fully rely on Him to sustain me. For then we really start to live, and breathe new air, and really succeed. We all have the ability to put fear in a box and set in the attic for a while, despite our financial situation or our domestic hindrances. We have the amazing ability to do whatever we want to with our lives, and that reality is both liberating and stifling all at the same time, like we get to pick out any toy in the shop and all we can do is stand there staring. So I prayed for courage and wisdom, and to land on a dream.
Let’s encourage each other instead of tearing each other down to go big. Go all out. Grow wings and soar together. For this world has enough negativity. Enough people telling us we can’t. That we aren’t pretty enough or talented enough or educated enough. There are people whose egos can’t handle us, or ladders that don’t have room for us. There are too many people clinking glasses and saying they are the winners and we are just the remaining lot.
But this world has enough opportunities. Enough new ideas like pieces of sand on a shore to spread for miles. There is nothing you can’t imagine. Nothing you can’t grab. Nothing you can’t find a home for, and a place for, and a dream big enough to hold. Do it. Be it. Live it.
March forward boldly in the direction of your dreams.