Make it Matter

The new job didn’t work out, but that’s ok because that’s what being adventurous is all about: finding stuff out about yourself and about the rest of the world, and using that new knowledge to forge a better and more exciting path.

I thought the job was really cool and I enjoyed the time I spent doing it. The other people were decent guys and I liked the camping aspect of it. I just couldn’t cope with all the driving. I didn’t realise when I accepted the job that there was so much travel involved every week and once I’d given it a shot I just knew that I would have a lot of trouble coping mentally with that amount of time spent in a vehicle.

I’ve come away from this experience as a different person because it totally changed the way I see timber harvesting in Queensland. Previously I thought it to be an unsustainable practise that pretty much wrecked the entire landscape, but I am forced to admit that the stuff I saw wasn’t like that at all. It was quite the challenge to accept that the long-held ideas I’d had about forestry practices in this state weren’t always 100% correct. And, if I’m really honest, I actually can’t even recall where my original ideas about timber harvesting came from. I’d certainly never questioned them.

This experience has made me wonder what other ideas I’ve got that are childish,old, silly, wrong, expired, rank, stupid and just downright idiotic; ideas that could be holding me back, ideas that could be telling me that “I can’t”.

I could have seen this whole thing as a failure: I couldn’t cope with the travel, I wasted everyone’s time, I feel stupid and useless and blah, blah, blah, woe-is-me,  but I chose to make it matter, and not in a crappy way that would eat away at my soul for eternity, but in a positive way that will allow me to build awesomeness for the rest of my life. Bad shit happens, dumb shit happens, and good shit happens too. That’s just the nature of being alive, what you do with the shit that happens to you is what matters.

Making it matter is your choice

 

 

New Job

I got a job. Yeah, I know, I can’t believe it either! This is the first time I’ve had a job in 9 years and it’s really the first “proper” job I’ve had since 2004. I’ll be working as a Ranger near a tiny place called Theodore. I’ll be living away from home during the week in a bush camp with 3 other rangers. Finally, I get to use my environmental qualifications. Yay! I’d pretty much given up on that ever happening. This is a big adventure for many reasons, but one of the biggest ones here is that I have to let go of the bitterness I’ve been hanging on to for so long.

Bitterness follows unwanted experiences—failures, disappointment, setbacks—that are perceived to be beyond one’s control (Wrosch, C. 2013)

See, I’ve always wanted to be a ranger. It started back when I was a little kid hanging out on Fraser Island with my parents. I loved the outdoors and I vowed I would live on Fraser one day and the idea that I could do that by becoming a ranger came to dominate the direction I took in life; being a ranger became part of my identity.

I did everything I could to achieve my dream, but it just never happened. I had to let it go and that really hurt. It was like admitting that everything I’d done in my life up until that point had been a mistake. Well, that’s how I saw it at the time anyway.

Letting go of my dream meant letting go of part of my identity. Instead of identifying with being a ranger I began to identify with the bitterness of not being one and I used that bitterness as ammunition against the world and against myself. I used it to justify extremely negative behaviours and attitudes, like substance abuse, misanthropy, judgement, anger and blah blah blah. I basically turned into a total shithead. Some people might think I’m still a shithead, but meh, whatever!

Anyway, what I’m banging on about here is that while I’d gotten pretty good at managing the bitterness, and despite the little stories I’ve been telling myself about how I’m not bitter anymore, and even though these days I feel like I’m driving my own boat, I have to admit that the bitterness is still there and therein lies the adventure: I have to rip it out and start again.  Basically, I have to construct myself a new identity. This is what I think I will probably look like on the inside when it’s finished:

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It’s ok to change the way you view yourself, the world and your place in it. It’s just not always easy, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it or that it’s wrong. Just because you’ve been doing something a certain way your entire life doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to do the same thing. If we are able to push ourselves beyond the concepts that we hold of ourselves amazing things can happen. None of us have to be narrowly defined by our beliefs and prior experience. If we can let that go:

We can do anything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Tour and Crowd Funding

Today my adventure was suspending my unfounded belief that crowd funding is a load of crap and is only out to rip people off. Where do these crazy ideas come from! Anyway, I’m looking into hosting the Women’s’ Adventure Film Tour in Bundaberg and wanted to come up with a way to make the tickets more affordable. I tossed around a few ideas until a small voice said: crowd funding.

“Sounds dodgy,” I heard my mind telling my brain.

“Ugh, you again. Really? Don’t you know when to keep your trap shut? We both know you’re risk averse. I’m the boss here and I say we look into it,” my brain said.

After I bit of research I had to concede that I’d been a close-minded twerp. Oopsy! Crowd funding is in fact a legitimate way to get an event like this off the ground. I felt pretty good about learning some new stuff, not only about crowd funding, but about my own tendency to unconsciously absorb ideas from unreliable sources. In doing so I got a good ol’ pat on the back from my brain. This is the photo I took:

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The film tour is an adventure in itself. I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s a huge project. If I can pull it off it’ll write on the wall of who I am. I like the sound of that. Crowd funding will be a great way for me to reduce the price of tickets down to almost nothing, which means that the event becomes a totally inclusive one, which is what I’m driving at with the whole adventure thing in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi. I’m Jen. I’m an everyday person who loves adventure. Check out how you can become adventurous too. It’s not as hard as you think!

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Adventure can be anything you like. It doesn’t have to be a massive feat of physical strength and death defying endurance where you freeze your butt off on mountainsides or get chased down by a gang of rabid koalas looking to make even all the wrongs of their past. I mean, if that’s what floats your boat then by all means go for it, but I’m guessing that for most people (me included) the koalas are out and so is the mountain…for the time being that is. Once I build my skills and my self belief and maybe even my own crew I’ll be able to get Zen with that mountain and perhaps convince the koalas that revenge isn’t the best tactic for a peaceful revolution nor for their image. I used to think they were so damn cute before I wrote this. Now I’m not so sure.

Adventure is for all of us. It’s inclusive and is something you can pursue in your everyday life. All it takes is the first tiny step outside of your comfort zone.

Step onto the path and courage will find you.