February 11th, 2009


The Everyday Adventure

When I was in middle school, I felt like my life was pretty dull. Weekdays were spent sitting in numerous classes where I filled stacks of notebooks with notes and sketches. Evenings were spent either listening to music, reading, or writing stories that never seemed to develop very far. Whenever I heard about people living in foreign countries, I grew extremely curious and jealous, because I felt that they must surely be experiencing amazing things.

One morning in homeroom, I read about a girl from my school who was living in Macedonia. I was overcome with jealousy and went down to the counselor's office to see how I could go overseas to some foreign land. They gave me a name and number, which I jotted down on my sketch-book.

A year later, I found myself in Croatia. To my surprise, I discovered that it was not all that different from life in my own country - people went to classes, worked, cooked, and did all the things we did here. Well, of course they did! These are the sorts of things that make up life.

It was then that I realized that life is not about looking for epic adventures full of heroic conquests - it is about the everyday adventure. Every day, every moment is a new creation. Every smile, every tasty raspberry chocolate, every cloud in the sky speaks of adventure - of life and color and soul. I didn't have to go to a foreign country to find the everyday adventure. It had always been around me, filling my senses, and filling my moments. But in my ingratitude, I had become completely ignorant of it all.

Ever since then, I've vowed to appreciate and marvel this everyday adventure.

I think this is one reason why I find O&M so interesting. In some ways, it is very much like an adventure. People learn how to travel to new places and explore new environments without the use of sight. On the other hand, O&M is very much an everyday profession. It's goal is simply to help empower other people to become able to go from place to place for work, recreation, daily chores, or whatever it may be.

Now, do I view my daily commute to work as an adventure? Most people would say no, and often I also drag my feet along the 40 minutes of sidewalk to Capitol Hill. But some days are different. At the end of winter, the air takes on a new warmth and the trees open up their wings. At the height of fall, the wet leaves that are stuck to my umbrella make me laugh as I try to shake them off. In the winter, the silent snow-scape is simply magical. And in summer, the feel of a cool breeze on my face makes me feel as light as a dream. The everyday adventures are waiting. So I keep in motion, I keep chasing curiosities, and I continue to eagerly explore this everyday adventure.

If this spirit were contagious, how joyful I would be! And if by an encouraging, calm, and excitable presence I could help tear down the walls of fear and ignorance standing in the way of others, how happy it would make me, indeed!