Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Telling my story: The beginning (Event 1)

Now you know that I carry out adventures to feel alive.  What remains is why.  I have several stories that tie all of the why together.  Pour yourself a nice cup of your favorite beverage and read on!

Part 2:  The beginning

Over the past few months, I had plenty of time to reflect on my lifetime goals and figured after all the time reflecting, I would share those thoughts with you - my friends and family.  These reflections have more to do with "why?" than with the usual things I post about the "how" and the "where."  I decided to write the post in multiple parts to keep them light enough to read with your first cup of coffee in the morning but deep enough to get you to reflect upon them during your day.  Without further delay, I give you my story...

The thirst for adventure

Most people either never experience or never attend to life events that make them crave more; I have three vivid ones that shaped and continue to shape my life.  I call these events "my thirst" - an insatiable one that gets slaked by only more adventure.  My post-adventure malaise fuel my thirst even more and, as a result, my longing for more never ceases.  None of the events I recount below were sought nor were they profound enough to cause me to tell others.  They were mine and mine alone.  Now, because I am telling you about them, they can be yours and, hopefully, you can find your own.

Event 1:  A moment to remember

When I was about 6 years old, I recall standing at the entrance to Central Park at Engineer's Gate (90th and 5th) and feeling frustrated that I could not recall events that happened in the past.

Engineer's Gate - Almost the exact way I remember it on my "moment to remember" event.
 My frustration lead me to decide or rather will myself to remember everything that happened afterwards.  I said to myself..."I will never forget another thing that happens in my life."  Perhaps I was an odd kid but I doubt it.  Events prior to this were often recalled by my family members as if I were an "extra" when, in fact, I played the lead role.  Happenings such as riding my bicycle into our pool, peeing in the closet before potty training kicked in, or even misbehaving during kindergarten escaped my recall.  I vividly do recall feeling frustrated by these lapses in memory and I never wanted to utter the words "I can't remember" ever again.  

That frustration began my lifelong pursuit of recalling what I did each week to ensure that no significant event ever went unnoticed or unrecorded.  I often lay awake at night thinking about what happened, what was memorable enough to remember, and what were the inconsequential events that may inhibit remembering the more important ones.  My rationale was and still is that repetition would help me remember.  I do remember now most events but not everyone and rarely trivial ones.  Memories shape our lives.  My friend Alan Arnette has a saying on his website:  Memories are Everthing.  I believe this truth to be self-evident.  

Why was this event so important?:  After years of rehashing my previous week, I soon realized that I wasn't doing much with my life.  Weeks would fly by without any noteworthy activity.  I soon feared that I might not need to remember much because not much seemed to transpire throughout each day.  I lived a dull life as a kid.  

When was this realization?  Not sure.  That fateful day was probably when I was about 12.  Seriously.  Yeah, I was probably weird then and I still am a little gonzo.  I cannot recall the exact age but I do know my approximate age because soon afterwards I started getting into trouble.  

What kind of trouble?  Since my son is 16 right now, I am deliberately withholding those sordid details until he is older ... perhaps 50.  Let's just say that I started to experiment with life.  The experimentation lasted for about 4+ years and I truly experienced many things that life had to offer - none that bear repeating and none that shaped me much more than to help me figure out that a life of stupidity did not suit my tastes.  I moved on.

Memories shape our lives.  That seemingly innocuous event at Engineer's gate lead me to appreciate all memories.  

In my next post, I recount the second event that influenced my thirst for adventure.  Stay tuned.

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