Monday, April 2, 2012

What Were You Born To Do?

 This is the second post for a month-long, alphabet inspired blog post series entitled “The A to Z Challenge.”
B is For Born: What Were You Born To Do 
“How did you become a watchmaker,” I asked my grandfather nearly three or four years ago. I was curious how someone from his generation, without having technical school or college at his disposal, pursued a profession that would eventually allow him to immigrate to 4 different countries, own two different businesses and fulfill the American Dream.

“My father owned a convenience store in Costanza, Romania,” he told me in his thick Armenian accent. “He was able to observe some of his most successful customers.” As it had turned out, it actually wasn’t a customer that ended up influencing my great-grandfather with regard to his son’s future profession; it was a neighbor.

My grandfather continued, “We had a very wealthy, Jewish neighbor in Romania, He was a jeweler. And so, my father asked if my brother and I could apprentice under him. The next day, we did.”

My grandfather’s future had been determined by one simple plea, by one simple request that could have easily been turned down! I found myself in awe of both my great-grandfather and the neighbor. What if my great-grandfather had never asked him to mentor his sons? What if, out of fear of the unknown, my grandfather turned down the opportunity to apprentice?

And what if these very things stand true for both your future and for mine? 
What things am I talking about? 
The act of asking, the act of believing and the act of being open to learning something new.

Ultimately I can say my grandfather was fortunate enough to do what he was born to do which extended so far beyond watchmaking. As an entrepreneur, he worked side by side with my grandmother reinforcing his strong value in family first. He was born to be a businessman, born to be a loving, faithful husband. He was born to be a father and a grandfather. He was born to let me place pink curlers in his hair and to teach me how to ride a bike. As of lately, he was born to be my honorary chairman of the board.

Today, on his 89th birthday, my grandfather was born in to the next life. I watched him go, I said goodbye and in the 45 minutes that I held his hand and listened to his breathing finally stop, a new me was born. One that will no longer bury my talents and passions below the surface, one that will not sell myself short out of the need to financially support myself, one that will lighten up and enjoy the journey without stressing that I can't get there fast enough.

And so I ask you; are you doing what you think you were born to do?  And if not, what are you going to do about it?

Ask. Believe. Be willing to learn something new. 

Hope that will help you as much as it’s helping me. Go out there and make your mark because one day, you will take your last breath and we should all be so lucky to have that happen on our 89th birthday. 

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  1. Very inspirational and moving piece. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Absolutely! My pleasure Brenda. It's something we should all consider on a daily basis. How did you answer the question of the blog title?

  3. Lovely story. :) It took me a while to get here--two careers and two degrees--but now I'm finally following my dream and doing what I think I was meant to do. And if I hadn't had my son and decided to try the stay at home mom thing, I probably never would've had the time to pick up my laptop to attempt to write a book. So you never know what decision will lead you to where you're supposed to be. :)