Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thoughts on an Adventurous Final Semester

     I have a split personality.  Not in  A Beautiful Mind kind of way, but a split one nonetheless   For all of what my mother likes to call my "hippie tendencies" (Read: A lack of appropriate outfits/etiquette for family get- togethers at my fancy aunt's house), I have decidedly Type-A tendencies.  Those less concerned about my self-esteem would probably call me bossy.  I like to be in charge.  I have had an almost life-long struggle with authority figures.  So Saturday was an adventure in more ways than one.
     I didn't go on AA, mostly because I hate group  bonding activities, but also because I had to work.  So Saturday was the first time I had seen a canoe, other than in Pocahontas.  My lack of outdoor experience is pretty much common knowledge at this point, as is my semi-codependent friendship with Rachel, and so I'm sure it's no surprise that we ended up in the same canoe, with Rachel in charge of steering.  Here's where the adventure really begins; as I mentioned before, I hate being told what to do, particularly when it does not go well. We ran into the banks, into bushes, and at one point into what I told myself was a fishing line, but was probably a spiderweb.  Rachel yelled directions at me, and at first I resented it, but then we began to get the hang of paddling (Sort of. We're still us).  It was then I began to realize what I can only really articulate now: this semester has been about me giving up the need for control.  No matter what activity I have engaged in in this class, whether it be jumping off a ledge in the climbing gym, wearing shoes worn by others (still gross), or paddling a boat I am not in charge of, I have had to loosen the reigns a bit.  In the second chapter of Rowing to Latitude, Jill Fredston writes of how falling in love with Doug forced her to give up control, a shift reflected in the meandering style of the narrative.  So while I would still be gun-shy about providing a universal definition  I would say that for me, adventure is, in the spirit of my last few weeks in the Hamilton bubble, about being pushed out of my comfort zone.

1 comment:

  1. After taking a look at Clarke's reply to Caroline's post, this one by Claire was particularly interesting. He says that he's less concerned with defining what adventure is and more concerned with living a fulfilling life. Are there lessons that we can take as an armchair adventure and use to enrich our own lives? Or is the divide between adventuring and real life too broad?

    I think Claire shows us here that there are ways to adventure without putting ourselves in peril, and that perhaps adventuring is a process. One step out of her comfort zone may be followed by another. Maybe Claire won't summit Everest--but she might!--but either way, she, like all us hopefully, used this class as an opportunity to push our own limits and learn from that.