live a great story
by: Nicki Patel | 7.19.17
Life never goes as planned, but that is the beauty of life. Isn’t it?
When I was getting ready to graduate college, I had created this picture of my “perfect” life - working in the NFL within 2 years post-graduation, a condo on South Beach, and of course being near the ocean as much as possible. I envisioned that corner office on the 21st floor (I don’t know why 21st, it just seemed like it would have the most perfect view), making the big bucks, and working my way up the corporate ladder. I dreamt of the warm salty air as I walked the streets towering with beautiful palm trees, and the mellow sound of the waves crashing on the shore. For a small girl from a small town in Texas this seemed unreal. It seemed like a dream, the “perfect” dream. But, what made it so “perfect?”
What I had planned out in my head was a perfect story, but it wasn’t my story. I had never before been infatuated by money, career, and materialistic things, but the idea of having these things for security or for pleasing those around me had consumed me, that this perfect life was basically store bought. Crazy thing about life is it has a mysterious way of always playing out what you want most, and giving it to you in the most bizarre ways.
I didn’t end up in the NFL much less in the sports industry. I never moved to Miami post-graduation, and I most definitely didn’t buy a condo. I was far from the beach and palm trees, but I was near other pieces of my perfect life that I had wanted most, like deep, deep down wanted most. I was near my family in my favorite city working with people I genuinely cared about who in turn really cared about me. I felt like I was living a life of purpose, and I was able to make memories with those I loved.
My “perfect” story was never about that corner office or the condo on South Beach, it was about living a life for the moments and memories with people I loved and places near and dear. I had wanted something so immaterial yet meaningful, but not monetarily valued, that I didn’t even realize I wanted it. I think it was part because it wasn’t the norm and part because it wasn’t what my family wanted for me, at least I thought. If it wasn’t for the turn in my health and my career being put in limbo, I don’t think I would have ever truly realized what I really wanted my perfect story to be.
One of my favorites of all time said something to his teammates during the final moments of Super Bowl XLVI. He said, “believe it, and it will happen.” (Michael Strahan) They believed in themselves and they won Super Bowl XLVI. The power of our thoughts is beyond measure or compare. If we imagine it and fully 100%, without a doubt of any sort of fear believe in it, it will be ours. There is nothing that will stop us and we can achieve anything.
When we think about something we want with such passion and drive, there are no limits. If I would have moved to Miami after college, I would not have been with Milo, my family, and experienced all the memories being here at home. I might have never ended up ill or I might have ended up worse. I might have never realized the passion I had for helping others and our planet, wanting to live a life of purpose rather than for that next paycheck, and I would never have left my corporate career to pursue fashion. Life is unpredictable, chaotic, and can feel like a hot mess, but it is also beautiful, amazing, miraculous, and breath-taking. So don’t fret the bad days, the minor (or huge) bumps, or fear the worst when you make the wrong turn. Breathe, have faith, imagine what you want, work towards it with everything you got, and keep that desire burning.
Being a Live A Great Story Ambassador has made me realize that it is not about traveling all over the world or living a crazy adventurous, totally-making-everyone jealous type of lifestyle (although I totally wouldn’t mind a trip to St. John or Turks and Caicos right now 😉), but it is living for today, the moment, and living that moment to the fullest potential. Let the bygones be bygones, laugh at the stupid shit, smile at strangers, spend 5 extra minutes walking or playing with your dog, eat with your family, take time away from technology – go outside, take a deep breath, and look up - that is a great story. This is my story. So yall, live a great story every day.
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