I’m an explorer. I love to go where no one has been before. This can be dangerous, but maybe that is part of the appeal. More so, it is an adventure full of possibilities. It feeds my soul.

The thing about exploring is that it comes from the heart. Sure, you need a clear head to figure out your path, and more so, to come up with alternatives when you face a road block – and it’s a guarantee that you will. But the idea? That comes from the heart and soul. If those elements are not involved, it is just an activity that anyone could do, that could be outsourced, and does nothing to recharge you. 

Another benefit I’ve uncovered from moving (again? When is she going to stop talking about moving??), is that I have found documentation of some of my many past endeavors. From childhood to the present day, here is the proof of an idea that I brought into reality. Prior to finding this treasure trove, I would have added “things I had tried and failed at.” Because the truth is, I have had WAY more failures than successes, according to the societal definition of the terms. And, in this competitive world, doesn’t that matter? But when I looked at this pile of notes and journals, I was actually amazed. How did I know how to do these things?? I’d had NO business experience or exposure, and yet I secured a good corporate job. I had never started a business before, and not only did I open a beautiful brick and mortar location, but one that housed something that had not been conceptualized yet by others. The examples of my exploration were boundless. I can almost hear my internal voice saying “Now, what should I do now?” I realized that I didn’t know I couldn’t do it. The guiding thought for me was “Why not?” And I gratefully moved forward before my rational thoughts could stop me.

I am so fortunate to have so many examples of adventurers in my family, although if you asked any one of them they would deny it. My grandfather, with no banking experience, started a bank. My grandmother, at age 23 in 1924, moved cross country by herself, found a teaching job and later, with friends, hiked up Mt. Hood. My mother, with no business experience, started her own small business at age 50. And my father, with rheumatoid arthritis and scoliosis, was roller blading well into his 80s. And when he realized he couldn’t do that anymore, he resigned himself to just riding his bike on hours long trips or swimming in Lake Michigan. 

The Montclair Film Festival is in town now – one of my favorite times of year! This weekend, amongst the celebrities and big budget films, I was fortunate to view a documentary called “Kili Big”. It’s the story of 20 plus size women who hike Mt. Kilimanjaro. These are women who have been told daily by society – and probably family, friends and themselves – that they can’t do things. And yet, they believed in themselves enough to take it on. They listened to the explorer within, that soul stirring that said “Yes! Why not? What if you can do it?!” To say I was moved and inspired is an understatement. (And, side note: Benefits of wearing a mask in the theatre is a) no one can see the tears running down your face, and b) the mask absorbs them!)

You cannot think your way into an adventure – you have to get quiet and listen for that voice inside that is saying “I wonder…” What if you lived your life as an adventure? Yes, there would be frustration and probably a lot of failure. But what if it is also the path that lights that spark within you, refreshes and renews, and brings you unfathomable joy?

As Yoda so wisely says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” What are you waiting for?