I tell you this story because aside from the crazy, illogical, and perhaps preposterous decision I made, I reflect a significant portion of who I am and for those who know me well, I'm guessing the above anecdote doesn't surprise you greatly. I've always known I've thrived on the uncomfortable, unpredicted, and more challenging path, but I think tonight I realized it's not only that I thrive on it, but on some level it is a necessity of my life. The love of adventure, the zeal and drive required, the innovation of how to surpass obstacles, the humor needed to walk in a blizzard, the need to physically experience the blizzard, and the achievement and satisfaction attained once the journey has been taken, these are all key elements to my personal core and for me, my favorite memories contain these. Some might think it a bit crazy to have sought out the chance to experience a blizzard. But I think as music requires both tensions and resolutions, we need obstacles and challenges to attain the success and satisfaction one receives from a job well done. I can now appreciate in a new and tangible way my heat, my dry clothes, my bed, and my fortune for having arrived safely. Had I stayed on the couch, I would have slothfully fallen asleep on a foreign couch and missed the rarity of such an event. And let's face it the story wouldn't have been the same!
What obstacles and challenges will I encounter in the remaining semester, especially as we embark to Venezuela (in a little over two weeks!)? I am unsure, but can ascertain that the story of how we overcome them and the strengthening of friendships that will be sure to follow will remain in my mind long after the initial journey is over and will be lessons that not only build character, but help shape future decisions and experiences. The challenge is needed to fully appreciate the good. Very rarely are the "good times" the easy times. They are the times when satisfaction and accomplishment and most often times growth have been attained. So I ask you, are you ready to experience inclement weather (or whatever obstacle), not just from a window watching complacently, but truly experiencing it firsthand, bitter, cold wind, and all?