If Only Passport Stamps Could Tell Stories

Dear airport security personnel,

While you may have bigger concerns to worry about (you know, like terrorist threats or illegal imports), I request a bit more admiration for passport stamps.

To the rest of us non-regulatory agents, the stamps are the only part of the passport to care about. They are perfect souvenirs of an awesome trip in the making.

Well they could be.

Last week I brought my passport in to a new job to show my proof of citizenship. While waiting for HR, an intern and I began discussing our passports. She’s had one for a few years, but never used. I, on the other hand, proudly opened my passport to show off my beautiful stamps only to remember they were illegible and unorganized.

I have two halves of one stamp on top of each other. A loner stamps sits in the middle of my passport lost and disconnected. Then another standalone on the very last page of the book.

If only I could flip through my passport like a scrapbook and share my journey. Consider the possibilities – storytelling and connections. The intern and I could have bonded over a shared achieved stamp.

To a beginning traveler, this is the illusion. After a couple trips under the belt – or even just one, travelers quickly realize we can’t count on stamps as the storytellers.

Obviously, the trip is so much more than just a stamp. It’s only one part of an incredible journey regardless of the destination. But wouldn’t it still be pretty awesome if passport stamps could tell scrapbook-like stories?

Okay, you can get back to protecting the airports again. Thank you for listening.

Sincerely yours,

A Frequent Flyer

*Editor’s Note – this letter is not to be taken as a serious complaint in any way.

What is this thing they call inspiration?

What is this thing they call inspiration anyway?

I’ve read many books on creativity and writers’ block. Each has its own definition of inspiration and its own resolutions to the creative process. But inspiration doesn’t just pertain to writers or artists. While the intentions of these books are great, I think they still miss something. Inspiration is a part of humanity. It is central to our life.  Inspiration is what allows us to open up and be our truest selves – to connect with the world around us. Inspiration is the thing that nags at your heart when you sit at home and feel like you should have more in your life. It’s also the shining beacon that draws others to your company.

Why are you uninspired?

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I keep re-reading this. And every t­­­­ime I do I hear something different from its words. The first time I saw it I heard the message as you are uninspired because you are working for a company that is uninspiring. Yes, if you are working for a company that tears you further and further away from inspiration it may be time to reconsider your job. But here’s the thing. While, I truly believe, it’s absolutely important to find a job that is inspiring for you that shines your heart; your employment is not the end all and be all of inspiration. Some of us may have the pleasure of working at our dream job, for a company whose mission is dear to our hearts. But some of us may need to accept and endure a working at a particular job simply for the paycheck – we all have to pay the bills after all. The job can’t be your only source of inspiration.

“Don’t … then and go home and not work on your own goals” … I had missed this part of the quote, and it is key here. Take care of yourself. Focus on you. Work is long, and responsibilities abound.  But take the time for your personal goals.

Elizabeth Gilbert says it perfectly in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. She wrote, “Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” 

That’s when the magic happens.

What inspires you?

It could be anything. A simple goal – what is it that you’ve wanted to do for yourself but haven’t taken the time? What have you dreamed of doing that you put off for ‘someday.’ One of my favorite quotes is “Welcome to someday.” In other words, someday is now. Do it now. When you do it, you accomplish those goals and you do the thing that makes you happy, that’s when you feel connected to the world. Look out, spread your arms, and take a deep breath. All is okay, all is right, and I can take the world by storm. THAT is inspiration.