Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Art. Adventure. Athletics

" I love how artistic, adventurous and athletic you are mom." My eight year old daughter proclaimed this summer shortly after I had stand up paddle boarded (on my knees) down a class II rapid on the Salmon River. To clarify, my legs were burning on that paddle board and I didn't feel so athletic when I fell butt first on my first attempt or barely survived the ugly yet successful second attempt. Secondly, my daughter is a wonderful mirror and can see with surprising clarity. Her statement summed up everything fun and meaningful in my life and suddenly I saw myself with as much clarity as an 8 year old.

And at forty, having just quit a tenured faculty position that defined me for ten years, I'm dead set on stripping the bullshit away and focusing on fun and meaningful. My goal is to build a different kind of life. One that allows me to put art, adventure and athletics at center and the politics and pain far behind me. That was blissfully obvious to my daughter, but to me there is forty years of other peoples blinding expectations to peel away. My daughter must has x-ray vision.

So I'm dedicating this year, which always starts and ends September, to my daughters insight and my insistence that I can have everything.

I will be an Artist.

I will adventure

I will be an Athlete.

"That's funny each one of those words starts with A" she followed up as she kissed me and ran away.

Sometimes the answer is as obvious as the first letter in the alphabet.

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