Bravery and adventure.
These are words I’ve been thinking of recently, and what I want to spend my year working on. So, each day I’ll attempt to do one thing that scares me.
And throughout the year, I’ll look for opportunities for adventure – more trying of new things and explorations.
To start the year, I had two focus words I wanted to spend my time with: Harmony & Success. I made some progress with harmony, but not so much with success.
I began the year working as a development director for a nonprofit, as well as working two gigs. My contract with the nonprofit ended in April, but I hadn’t been enjoying the work all that much anyway. I went into a sales position after that ended, and picked up a couple more gigs along the way.
When I had another sales job lined up, I left the first one – only to have my new job placed on hold. So I bounced around a lot. From August to October, I was only working gigs and relying on savings to get through. By November I was worrying about what kind of work I’d land. Then in December, I added two more jobs, one in retail and one in a restaurant. And most excitingly, a tour guide job I could line up for March – in Alaska.
As to achieving harmonious living – I believed it would take meditation, yoga, writing, and soul searching, all of which I did to some degree over the past year. I’ve been more consistent with my writing, and up until the end of November, I had been doing a lot of yoga.
Am I more harmonious? I don’t really know. But I usually feel pretty relaxed and even-keeled.
This past year had some highlights – my summer travel to Alaska; joining the improv troupe; a few really exciting gigs. But overall, it was a quiet year. A time for restructuring and decluttering. Much more harmony than success.
With 2020 mere hours away, I’m focusing on two new words to guide me through the coming year: Adventure and bravery. Tomorrow I’ll dig into my plans and goals for 2020, but for now, here’s to a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve!
Work, work, work. Every day this week was one job or another. But I had some good creative time too.
What I’m reading: Horizon by Barry Lopez. Spoiler: at over five-hundred pages of the main text, I’ll likely not finish this within a week. I hope I do finish it though. My thoughts on this: the cover shows plain-white text of title, author, and one achievement – “National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams.” The cover photo wraps to the spine, and shows blue sea along the lower half, blue sky above. The horizon, a solid white line through the middle – it’s in this line where anything is possible. If, I suppose, you can judge a book by its cover. Lopez is a travel writer, humanitarian, and environmentalist. And everything about the layout of this book makes me want to read it.
What I’m listening to: Hadestown Original Broadway Cast Recording. Hit a deep dive of Andre DeShields for the radio show this week, and revisited this soundtrack. Really a wonderful compilation of music from Anaiis Mitchell.
What I’m watching: The Mandolorian. I was a few weeks late to the game, but I caught up. Good script, solid acting, great effects. A space-Western, reminiscent of Firefly. The internet went wild for Baby Yoda (who should have a non-Yoda name that, hopefully, will be revealed soon), and I’ll admit it’s a cute critter. Looks like Gizmo from Gremlins though. Behind the mask, Pedro Pascal is doing awesome work. I think I first saw him GoT, but have tried to follow his career since.
Other things I’ve sent to friends this week:
- Rolling Stone’s profile of Adam Driver. Gearing up for Star Wars Episode IX next week, the interview hints at the character arc for Kylo Ren and gives a revealing look at the actor behind the mask.
- Another one from Rolling Stone, this one an interview with Rian Johnson regarding Knives Out. Again, loved that movie.
- From NatGeo, a look at what happens to fresh water when mountain ice doesn’t reform on these water towers.
- SNOWBALL FIGHT! The John Wick director shot this video with the iPhone 11.
I think some of the things that make this world so amazing are the people who go out and live life like no other. Take for instance Leon McCarron. Contributing writer to Adventure Magazine, author of such books as The Land Beyond and The Road Headed West, he set out after University on a bike ride halfway around the world. Then decided to keep traveling.
According to McCarron:
“There was a time when explorers traveled to mark the blank spots on the map—but now, in the digital age with fast, inexpensive transportation to once-hidden corners of our world, there’s far less call for flag-planting.
Instead, I see the modern frontier of adventure as storytelling; using immersive, adventurous travel to uncover new ideas. Adventure also applies on a smaller scale, one that’s accessible for all. It can be a daily practice in which we choose to do something different, something that creates a new experience—and that can happen as easily in London as it can in Ladakh. Adventure is everywhere, if we know where to look.”
The challenge is to create those new experiences. Look for the miraculous in your everyday life.