Tag Archives: adventure

Embracing Uncertainty and Adventure

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when nothing is for sure

It’s begun again: change. I have applied for a 15 day course in San Francisco on directing tours. The school has an excellent job placement program. I’ll be matched with companies to apply to become a tour director upon graduation. I called the school where I am currently a post- grad student this morning and asked if I would be jeopardizing my standing in their program if I was not ready to start my class I registered for in October. I was told that I would remain in the program but have to pay $100 to drop the course, a small fee considering most of the cost of the actual class would be refunded to me and I could return at any time. Soon, I will have food and housing paid for me while I travel the world and my paychecks toward my student loans from grad school. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make enough money at some point to rebuild my savings as well. I’m going to do it: quit work and school and go traveling! I can’t wait! I hope that I will learn so much from my travels! Who knows where I will go or who I will meet…the opportunities that I may come across!

I’m wondering if my housemate is angry at me. I waved to and greeted her several times this morning and had no reply. I may have offended her in my last interaction with her when I announced my plans to her. You see, she inspired me to do this in some ways. She is a person who is not afraid of change. She came here from another country and started a new life and career. I told her about my plans only yesterday and her reaction was, “You need to have a plan. What about job stability and security?” It’s funny that a person with a marketing and MBA degree would question my taking a risk. I thought business people take risks. I replied, “ I want to travel!” She says to me, “I had a job that allowed me to go on business trips three times a year once so I did a lot of traveling. You need a long term plan.” In love with the idea of traveling more than three times per year, I scoffed, “Your way is boring! I want adventure!” She defended herself, “ If I were boring, I would not have moved to a different country and started over. I am not afraid of adventure!” Feeling her enthusiasm, I beamed at her with a big appreciative smile and gave her a thumbs up because I was so happy for her. Perhaps that was offensive.

Scratch that. Just got a friendly text message from her. Perhaps I was transferring my own fears onto her…. My fears of leaving the world I know, the life I know for something different.

I never intended to go into teaching when I was a child. I wanted to do something thrilling, more creative and even risky but because people around me looked down upon it, I went into teaching. I fell in love with teaching! It is so fulfilling to know that before you met this student, he could not read or she was not toilet trained….She could not talk and so forth but something clicked and I got to see it happen! I loved it and miss it! Will I ever return to it? I do not know! I am okay with not having a plan! I just want to do something for myself instead of my career and I have enough money saved up to do it. By getting a job as a tour director, I can work to pay off student loans while traveling. I want to feel I am worthy even if I am not a teacher, wife or a mother.

Something I’ve done often over the years is to just choose a road and just travel on it. Some people see no purpose in this and would see it as stupid, unsafe and unprepared. The thing is, I love not seeing what is in the road ahead. I like surprises. I have found so many fascinating places by doing this! This is how I want to live my life! If I tire of exploring; normality, routine, school, career, goals and plans are always still back at home waiting for me to rejoin the rat race.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

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             Did you ever read The Choose Your Own Adventure Series? When I was a little girl, I was an avid bookworm. One of the many series I read was one which allowed the reader to be the main character of each novel by having him or her decide what happens next in the story simply by flipping to specified pages in the books. Readers would decide what action one would take as the story’s protagonist and then flip to the page that revealed the consequences of one’s decision. These books were a lot of fun to me and I even remember trying to write my own Choose Your Own Adventure Series when I was growing up! Did you ever do things like that?

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              I got to thinking (a dangerous thing, I know!) about how The Choose Your Own Adventure Series is like an analogy for life. Every day, we make many decisions that will change the outcome of our day; and ultimately, our lives. Every day is an adventure. If your life is mundane and boring to you: just work and then home everyday, this was your choice. Our lives, our days, for the most part, are what we make of them sprinkled with bits of chance. There’s always the chance that something will change or happen whatever choices you make. The more open to the new, mysterious and unexpected, one is each day, the greater the chance one will experience inner or outer revelations and/ or adventures. To be mindful/ present, is to be open.

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          On the days that I am present/ mindful and open to new adventures, I may take a different route home from work, try a new flavor latte that I don’t usually order or cook something I have not yet tried. I may just be minding my own business shopping and bump into a childhood friend I hadn’t spent time with in two decades… Try a mantra meditation I have not tried yet or play an old tune on the piano I have not played in a while…It always sounds different, just like every sunrise or star rise is different. The possibilities are endless. It takes less than 24 hours to change your life. You could walk in and quit your job in only a few seconds or make a life-changing phone call right now. Every moment is an opportunity for adventure. You just have to be present.

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       I do have days when I am living only in my daydreams and have no idea what I’ve had for lunch, if I’ve had lunch at all, or what I did all day. I could be thinking all day, “There’s so much to do!” and not notice my surroundings, whether people who love me are around or wanting to be around. I also have days when the smallest tasks as well as the most mundane tasks can be turned into an adventure by simply acting in a new perspective rather than out of habit. The simple act of visiting my dad and leaving my cell phone, worries and work behind for a few hours can suddenly be enjoyable rather than an obligation when my mind is present rather than in a state of worrying about the future and haste.

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             What do you do to keep life adventurous and your mind present? Do you go through years of monotony while just waiting for the weekend/ vacation/ retirement/ some sort of change or are you present, mindful and adventurous? Are you spontaneous and open to seeing or doing something in a new light? Or does trying new things and new perspectives take up too much energy and employ too much risk?

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            People often marvel and judge, “You are such an adventurous person and yet you are stuck in such a boring place.” What they don’t understand is that I never find where I am boring and I am never  “stuck”! I choose where I am!  You don’t have to believe your locale or your place in life is boring either! As Mary Poppins said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” I choose to be where ever I am because I can experience the fun  and joy in any and every place.

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  *On a tangent, my ex-mother-in-law once put this random photo of a girl dancing in the rain on her Facebook and tagged it with my name. She even printed cards and sent it out claiming it was my photo. Everyone believed her!