So this morning, I set off on an adventure.
I’m flying by myself to someplace I’ve never been before.
Now,when I use the word “adventure,” I mean doing something new. But I wonder if new-ness is part of the formal definition of the word “adventure”?
Let’s find out. Here’s the first definition of “adventure” I found on-line:
An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
Hmmm. That’s interesting. Even though that definition doesn’t include the concept of “new”, it DOES reflect the two important components of doing something new (for me) — (1) excitement and (2) fear (see “hazardous”).
I’ll check one other definition before I move on.
Okay, this definition is from Merriam-Webster online:
1. An undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks
2. An exciting or remarkable experience.
Interesting. Definition #1 includes the Fear Factor, and Definition #2 has the Excitement Aspect.
But the language doesn’t refer to something new.
However, Merriam-Webster does include the word “remarkable.” And the first definition includes the word “unusual.” And “remarkable” and “unusual” does imply something that you do very rarely.
So, even if an adventure is not completely new, it’s probably gonna feel new.
I don’t know about you, but part of my experience of new-ness can often include judgment. And I think that’s probably natural, since I’ll be doing things I haven’t done before. As a result, I’ll be more likely to make mistakes and to judge myself for not knowing more. (And, I’ve been working on letting go of judgment today. Big time.)
Okay, now that I’ve covered the “Meanings” portion of this blog post, I’d like to move on the “Meetings” portion of the post. (In case I lost anybody right there, I’m referring back to the title of this post — “Adventure (meanings and meetings).”)
So, I met somebody new this morning, on the very first part of my adventure.
The first part of my adventure involved getting to the airport. And the decision I had made about this first leg of the journey was to make it easy on myself – and everybody around me — by using a transportation service to the airport.
My niece, Laura (who is not only a wonderful niece but also a fabulous travel agent) had recommended that I use a transportation company called Smurfs. And who wouldn’t want to use a company with THAT name, to begin a scary and exciting adventure? Just hearing that name, I felt fuzzy and safe. (Not that I actually ever watched the TV show the “Smurfs.” But I knew what those Smurfs looked like. And they looked blue, friendly, and reasonably competent to drive a vehicle.)
So, after Laura recommended The Smurfs for transportation, I did what I needed to do to feel good about that decision. (That is, I googled “Smurfs transportation” and saw good reviews about value and reliability.)
So, this morning, as I was feeling excited and scared, vulnerable and brave, and was leaving the familiar safety of my home, I was picked up (at the perfect time!) by a stranger.
The Smurf Driver.
And because this is the Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, when I got into the car and met The Smurf Driver, I let go of self-judgment and projection onto others. That is, I decided NOT to assume that:
(1) The driver might prefer that his passengers be as quiet as possible. (By the way, this would be the cognitive distortion of “Mind Reading”.)
(2) What I might say might include uninteresting, inane, boring, or annoying thoughts. (Cognitive Distortion? “Labelling.”)
And, during the drive to the airport, The Smurf Driver (whose name is John) and I had a great conversation. John and I talked about the usual things drivers and passengers talk about: the routes to the airport, the flight I was taking, and so on. But in the course of the time we spent together, we also talked about the fear and the excitement of adventure. He told me that he had just started working for Smurfs after working a long time for another transportation company. It was his second day! So, of course, he was dealing with the new-ness of that. And, not surprisingly, he was experiencing some fear AND excitement. And he recognized that he had some self-judgment about what he didn’t know.
And I told John about the new things I’ve been doing, and how I’ve been trying to let go of fear and judgment. Among other things, I told him about this blog. He said he planned to read it.
If you found your way here, John, Hello! And thank you for the conversation this morning.
I got a lot out of that conversation.
It’s always helpful, when you meet a fellow adventurer — especially when you’re just starting out on an adventure of your own.
Thanks for reading, everybody.