A few days ago I turned 32. The journey to 32 was amazing and challenging, and if I went to recall all the highlights, well you and I would be here for days, maybe 32 days.
From the time I entered university in 2004, every year has looked significantly different than the year prior. Each came with their own challenges, successes, adventures, and personal growth. The most unexpected, for me, was that I was still a university student in 2018. I barely made it through the first 13 years of mandatory primary and secondary education. 14 years in optional higher education, well, who would have thought!
This year I anticipate another vastly different year than my 31st. I am a bit timid to publish some of the things that this year may bring, but I do want to be open to these opportunities. So, for my 32nd year of life, I hope to participate in 32 adventures and/or activities.
The journey of 32 has started with a bang. Approximately 150 student papers landed on my desk (electronically), I started planning a few out-of-town work and personal trips, and I consciously altered my lifestyle habits for a more holistically healthier well-being.
But, the highlight of the start to my 32 Adventures could not have been possible without the people in my life. For this years start, my friends and I ventured a few hours up Vancouver Island for Adventure 1: snowshoeing at Mt. Washington, BC.
A few of my friends headed to the mountain on Friday while I stayed back to work and mark student papers. My partner and I woke up early Saturday, packed our bags and the car, drove out to the mountain, and spent nearly 5 hours with friends as we snowshoed around Finger Glade Trail before driving home.
The trail itself does not take 5 hours to snowshoe. However, as my friends and I walked, we took in each and every view point, walked around as a camera crew, paused in awe of nature and what surrounded us. Along the journey, I found myself reminding myself to stay in the moment, to remain in the present, and to take in as much as possible.
It sounds all mystical and nuanced, but really it is perhaps my biggest challenge – this whole “staying in the moment” and not thinking too far ahead just does not jive with my “To Do” list. The hardest part, when I saw the car and knew we were close to the end. My mind wandered; it started to formulate a plan of action to tackle the student papers waiting for me, where and how quickly I would feed my hunger that left me hangry, and which set of clothing I would change into in the car to warm up my body.
As I drove home, music on, I had an “ah-ha” moment. I realized that year 31 was all about drive, about overcoming hurdles, venturing into a new phase in my life, and about determining where I would want to see my career go. I sidelined my ability to allow things to naturally occur and to seek opportunity in balance. This year, with the same drive, determination, and passion, I hope to recalibrate and find my balance.
Here’s to a year of adventure, of memorable moments with friends and family, and to being open to the opportunities ahead.