Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!
FaceBook reminded me recently that it's been five years since I went on my first "Adventure Wednesday." Sometimes it's little triggers like that which can make me take time and look back, remember what life was like and how much I've changed. It doesn't help that I just had a non-milestone birthday which also made me think back to when I was 23 (my mother had been married with two young children at that age); 33 (I had one son, and at that birthday was recovering from a miscarriage); 43 (separated a year, but not quite having really hit my rock bottom)...and the years since then. Life lessons come from all sorts of places. And sometimes, not where you expect.
One of my favorite quotes for learning it's ok not to be "perfect" came while watching with my (then) young sons the children's animated series called Magic School Bus. The lead character, a crazy wonderful teacher named Ms. Frizzle (which you often thought was a combo of dizzy and frazzled, yet her lessons were always thoroughly fun and educational). Ms. Frizzle often exclaimed "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!" because that is the best way to truly learn.
Can you think of any instances where you've been okay with doing all three? Or is it more likely that you can think of instances where you've taken a chance, made the mistake and it (whatever situation, probably a romantic one) got messy. I've had those. And I've wanted to slap the cheeriness right out of Ms. Frizzle.
But the image of me flying on the trapeze is one that always comes to mind when I say "Take chances" phrase to myself. I took my sons for one of those two-hour flying trapeze classes (the one where you overlook the Hudson River). The boys were naturals ("perfectly" at ease). Me? I was a mess. I climbed up that skinny, high ladder no problem. Stood on that teeny, tiny platform. And stood on that ledge holding the swinging bar for way, way, way too long.
So long, that a second teacher came up to help. No matter what "yoga breathing" I tried, my whole self did not want to jump off the platform. I did manage somehow. I LOVED flying! I LOVED swinging by my knees upside down. And I managed to let go to fall into the netting without breaking my neck. Dismounting I was still shaking. Composure was thrown out long ago (I told you I was a mess.) But I did it. I took the chance. I made mistakes (which is probably why they wouldn't let me even think of trying the "catch by partner" move). And it was worth it.
Here's your adventure challenge - find something to take a chance on. Don't worry if you might make mistakes. Or if you get messy (however you want to define that! Who knows - you might be one of those who want to try a Tough Mudder). Go for it! Feel free to tell me your story, I'd love to hear it!
And if you're not familiar with Ms. Frizzle, here's a link to the Scholastic episodes on Amazon. Magic School Bus (4 seasons available for streaming)