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by Rafael Tavares Jr. 8 months ago in advice
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Ralf at 50

Twenty years ago, at the World Trade Center filming with our videographer about us. We were at the World Trade Center because it played a part in our courtship. We decided it should be one of the locations in our wedding video. During a break from filming, I went over to one of the towers and I touched it lovingly. After a moment I said

“I am going to miss you when your gone.”

Right away I laughed and said,

“What am I saying you will be here way after I am gone.”

This moment plays over and over in my head It’s funny, I still don’t know where that thought came from. Every year I avoid any coverage of the terrorist attack. I don’t want to see the planes hit the towers over and over again. I saw it one too many times and I don’t need a reminder; it is already burned into my memory. It seems like people are always demonstrating the “never forget” by constantly playing the video or showing the pictures. I never forget, and it plays over and over in the big screen in my head.

Five days after the planes hit, we decided to keep moving forward and we were married. We figured there should be some light in this darkness that was engulfing us. Our friends and family got together, at least those of us that could make it; since planes were not a thing for the date. We all tried to brighten the world for a moment; and we did as we celebrated life.

Now it feels like it was just the other day and no time has passed at all. Yet, here I am looking at twenty years since the world changed in more ways than one.

You may ask, “but Ralf where is this coming from?”

Well it’s the kind of thoughts that pass through one’s psyche when you reach 50 or near it. My mind has been playing all the films held in the library of my being.

It’s funny, twenty years ago I was facing my thirtieth birthday. You ask “What’s so funny about that Ralf?” and my reply would follow...

Well you see when I was a young wort hog... I know, I know so many jokes it’s just me, it’s who I am. Getting back to it, as a child I had a dream and each piece of the dream came true. The last part of that dream was dying at the age of thirty. So I was staring that down at thirty and I tell ya flying a plane to our honeymoon in Disney was an experience especially after what had just happened. Talk about facing a fear and then to just keep moving forward. I overcame, and Disney was incredible don’t let people tell you it’s just for kids.

I don’t want you to think that all this stayed dormant all this time. I live with it, all the time like we all live with things, it’s never ending. But of course there was 10 40 and 1.

10 years since 2001, 40 years of life and 1 Year of my greatest gift, my daughter. What better Birthday gift than my daughter being born? None, that’s what!

It’s also where I looked at my life and realized that I should follow my dream. As my best friend said “you studied why not go out there and use it?” She was right, why have a Broadcasting degree and not live it. In all fairness I never stopped writing but this was the moment I restarted following my dream.

So that was one of the moments on the big screen while staring at forty. Among other things that were dancing across the ball room. So again I took all of that and kept moving forward.

Now here I am at 50 and the wavy lines are blurring reality and making me time travel. Funny place to be, being that thirty was supposedly the season finally. I stare time down and can see each tick each tock as I look at my daughter turning 11. If you want to see time happen have a kid it’s something I always say. You will actually see the years happen. Of course you know now what comes next,

“What comes next Ralf?”

I keep moving forward. I show my daughter to follow her dreams and that she can do or be whatever she wants. I do what I know is supposed to bring me joy. I keep writing, I do my show, I run after all things creative, all things writing, all sorts of Geekery.

I answer the call and continue my journey and work hard so I am more hero than villain. I take every opportunity to do good and hope that when the call to adventure happens I don’t choose not to do good knowing I can do good; because like Hugbert says,

“Someone must help, because doing nothing is not acceptable.”

So here we are full circle as my mind wanders, it always wanders. So I say to you, Nice talk, tell you what, let’s do this again at 30 60 21. We can chat about all the accomplishments, I can tell you about my kick ass daughter and we can see about those darn moments that keep playing on that big screen.

So do you accept the call to adventure? Do you continue the hero's Journey? Do you choose to do good? Let me know and by the way,

“Keep Moving Forward.”


About the author

Rafael Tavares Jr.

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