One of the things I love and hate about myself is that I just dive in.
Whether I know how to or not.
Earlier this week I spent some time reflecting on some of my favorite adventures of the past few years. There are some biggies like going to NYC alone for 5 days to attend a writing conference with only 4 days notice, competing in a bodybuilding contest, diving into new leadership roles at work and volunteering to do things like cater my best friend’s daughter’s wedding in Florida.
- Big doesn’t necessarily make an adventure great.
One of my greatest adventures involves my little white macbook and 40 seventh grade girls. One day in the middle of the deep freeze of 2011, otherwise known as winter up here in the subarctic, I had a random thought. You have something to share about identity and self esteem to girls. Email the all girls school downtown and tell them you want to come speak to the school.
Without much contemplation, the email was sent.
Months went by and I didn’t give the email more thought until a reply unexpectedly appeared in my inbox. They wanted me to come in a week and a half and were excited about what I had to share.
What had I gotten myself into?
I took a deep breath, put a presentation together on my mac book, created a 30 day journal for each of them to decorate and write in and spoke from the heart.
Eighty eyes stared at me while I stood in the library and shared things I wish I had known when I was in junior high.
- If you aren’t disciplined in knowing who you are, it doesn’t magically come together when you get older.
- You are already fabulous. Stop trying to be it and start living it out
- You aren’t your body.
- Choose to do amazing things with your life, you only get one.
- Women need each other. Stop competing; start encouraging.
I sweat through all my deodorant, shared vulnerable stories and helped them think through who they want to be when they ‘grow up’. I stumbled and faltered through a few spots and my presentation could have been better, but my personal discomfort was worth the hugs, stories and excitement from the girls at the end.
Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.
Sitting in my car in the parking lot when it was all over, I knew I was made to do this thing.
Adventure helps you live out all of who you are.
What came of my talk, I will probably never know.
- It wasn’t changing the world in the way we oftentimes think about changing the world, but perhaps it was.
What if even one of those girls shifted her life course by one degree? One degree over a lifetime lands you in a much different place than those who don’t make a change.
Adventure looks different for everyone, but it always involves being vulnerable and taking a risk.