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My name is Samantha Walters and I am what you would consider a “millennial executive” over here at Colocation America. Every Monday (get it, get it, Samantha on Mondays – the S.O.M column) I will write a little something on whatever is on my mind from business practices to current events and everything else in between.
This week’s topic—experiences
Surprising, but I do things outside of Colocation America.
Beyond being a “millennial executive” over here, I am an aunt, sister, daughter, kickball player, philanthropists, board chair, golfer, coach, business owner, nerd, friend, and researcher. Stated in no particular order, these are just a few of things that make up the one and only Samantha Walters.
At any given moment, I am not one of these things but all of them. I am a daughter and a nerd. I am a researcher and a kickball player. I am a business owner and a coach.
And yet, when we meet, you will probably never hear me say any of that.
On a sunny day I am a golfer and during a social crisis, I am a philanthropist. At a bar in Santa Monica I am a kickball player and on a football field in Venice, I am an aunt. At an IT conference I am an executive and at an education conference, I am a researcher.
And yet, after we meet, you will realize I am more than that one thing.
I am more than our quick conversation over coffee and the “I hope all is well” in my email. I am more than the statistics that characterize my generation and what my parents do for a living. I am more than my tattoos and my Master’s degree.
And yet, over time, you will discover that I am my experiences.
Experiences, however, cannot be explained through quantifiable time spent learning skills or climbing up the corporate latter, although I have those. They cannot be explained through a photo or a “my sister went to Hawaii and all I got was this shirt” shirt, although I have those.
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein
An experience should not be judged by time or tangible objects but rather by consciousness. To truly experience something, you must observe, participate, and learn from that moment.
Experiences are the conscious events that make up an individual life. More importantly, experiences are the conscious moments that have influenced your life and who you are today. They can be bad and they can be good. They can come when you are young and they can come when you are old. They are the moments that take place sober and, well, not so much.
Our experiences are what make us who we are.
All too often we rely on our past experiences and fear new ones. We see the world in the lens of what we have lived through rather than what the present moments can teach us. We are stuck in the mindset that our past dictates our future and that our future is already created thanks to our present.
But our present is currently happening – right now you are experiencing a conscious moment, an experience. This moment has never happened before and will never happen again. It is a singular event in a lifetime of moments.
The only difference between this moment and the next is your perception of it. You have the power to control how you view the world and your experiences in it. If you so choose, you can see tragedy as inspiration and hate as a sign of love. You can turn boring into fun and sad into happy.
You can make this world into whatever you want it to be and all it starts with is an experience, an opportunity to observe and participate in the world.
And here is the best part – your world is different than mine. Your experiences are different. You observe and participate differently than I do. At the end, you will perceive what happened differently than I would.
You and I live in different worlds but we can help one another.
In every experience, every moment, we share together you bring your world into mine. You bring your life full of mistakes and learning, growing and falling, and I bring mine. Together, we discover the world for what it is – a mess of people, all with their own experiences, bumping into one another.
Today, I bumped into you and tomorrow it will be another person. Down the line, we may bump into each other again and speak of our shared experiences but I am not worried about that.
For today is the present and exist only as I see it and today, I am living one moment, one experience at a time.