“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
We have a morning routine that starts with a breakfast meeting at 8:15 where someone has a message and then another person reads from their field journal. This is one of the many quotes that were shared over the last two weeks and always helped set the tone for the day. This quote by Margaret Mead is one of my favorites given the way she paved the way for female anthropologists and because in times like these, it’s an amazing reminder to have. The days go by so fast here in Coroico that I have to remember to savor the small moments, the moments of uncontrollable laughter and times when it’s hard to believe how wonderful life truly is. Everyday is packed with meetings, day trips, field journaling and more and we always manage to find time to sit in a hammock or have a beer with a friend and process the day.
Life is a series of events that none of us are ever fully prepared to experience. But we do. And that is the beauty and tragedy in it all. None of us can plan for anything when we can’t predict the future. We can only live in the now and make conscious decisions that move us to a positive future. As I catch up on the last few weeks of posts, I thought I would start by sharing one of the greatest set of days; the kind of day that you can’t plan for and just say yes to because you know that it is fleeting, magical and rare.
This is a phrase all of us know too well; a concept our parents and doctors growing up indoctrinated us with to encourage us to eat our fruits and vegetables in order to grow big and strong and have a healthy life. However, what if we looked at this as a hike a day keeps the doctor away.
Lately in life I have been lost in the world (as opposed to school). I have been far too distracted and interested in the world (and less in my reading) and can’t seem to stop moving; its as though I have an endless adventurous twitch in my body that won’t let me sit still. I had an amazing weekend and went on countless adventures, mostly by myself which was kind of perfect. I think a lot of people have a huge fear of being by themselves, solo and alone. I think there’s no better way than to be my yourself; we all are stuck with ourselves our entire lives, so you might as well learn to enjoy it.
It’s hard to believe that we are already in the midst of September, finished our third week of school and fall is (almost) descending on us. Where did the time go? It seems like it was just yesterday when I moved back to Boulder, completed RA training, helped all the students move in and sat down in class for the first day of school. Time can move so fast, particularly back in the city and in the frenzy of life at school. After concluding that we all needed a break, a group of friends and myself decided to leave Boulder for twenty-four hours, camp and summit a fourteener. As great as it is to be back at school, we were all getting restless and needed to getaway! And, what better place to getaway then at the top of a 14,000 foot mountain?
The concept of escaping, leaving, getting away has always interested me as travel is often another synonym that is associated with the word “escape.” What are we trying to leave behind? What are we looking for? Why do we have a desire to leave? For me, it’s a restlessness that I often find myself in; a desire to find something new and that often leaves me blending into the crowd and standing out at the same time. Escaping can often have a negative connotation, but I lately think its inherently a part of being human, the need to move and discover. Last year I took a fascinating class about drug policy from an anthropological perspective and studied the theory of a fourth drive, a human thirst to discover different forms of reality. I think escaping might be the fifth drive, and for some of us, it is more potent or has been exposed more at specific points of our lives.