My family goes to the beach every summer. We have for as long as I can remember. We pack up a ridiculous amount of those huge box fans–the kind you buy at Walgreens when you’re living in Queens and it’s 108 degrees outside and you haven’t arrived in life to the point of having an air conditioner, but you sure do have a wet towel to sleep under and man does it feel great when the fan blows on you and that blessedly damp towel (Anyone? No? Just me? Oh.).
We pack enough box fans to keep a small, non-weapon wielding army cool–and towels and quarters, too (because God forbid they let you use a credit card to pay for parking at the beach) and we drive south until we sete gas stations with Shore Stops instead of plain old boring markets.
After doing this for many years, my parents started to notice the market at the beach changing.
(Real estate, Jess? you ask. I KNOW. But trust me, friends.)
“If only we’d bought down here ten years ago,” they’d say, “We’d have made a killing.”
“If only we’d bought when it was so much cheaper fifteen years ago…”
Eighteen years ago. Twenty years ago. You get the picture.
So then, what does this mean for us? Well. Look around. Start building, start investing. Dig deep into where you are now–even if it looks like nothing–and build an empire. Or maybe a small wooden house with an English rose garden. You know, keep it your style, but build something. Nobody builds an empire out of an empire. It’s always nothing first; an idea, a dream (I know, I know: but dreams are scary. And so is regret). In fact, if you see a whole lot of nothing to work with all around you–or anywhere around you–then congratulations. Go right there. That’s where you build. That’s also exactly how the best stories start. Even the Bible starts with God hovering over nothing before there was something. It’s a thing, and now make it your thing. Two years, five years, twenty years from now–you’ll be so grateful you did.
P.s. words like empire, etc, can be highly overwhelming, and let’s face it, most of us don’t exactly want to skip through this life responsible for Rome. So what I mean is carefully and with consideration build the life you want right now. Like, if what you want is to photograph sail boats don’t spend every waking moment on Netflix, bemoaning the fact that you’re land locked in Ohio. Find a way to get to those sail boats and be ready with your camera when you do. Don’t wait. And I’m saying this to myself, because this is our life, dear family. It’s our one precious life and that sometimes keeps me up at night with wonder, you know?