I recently watched an interview with Diane Sawyer and I really liked a piece of advice her father gave her. He said, “Do what you love, do it in the most adventurous place, and make sure it helps people.” I had a previous blog that was all about the importance of being more involved and helping as much as you can. Now, I am hoping to cover the adventurous part of Diane Sawyer’s father’s advice.
There will be a lot of people telling you what is best for you. I am sure there are lots of people who want to keep you inside a safe little bubble and tell you that because of your disability or some other limitation (money, education, etc.,) that some things just aren’t possible for you. Can I tell you something? Their wrong… Before my diagnosis was even confirmed, my parents were skeptical about sending me to school away from home because they knew some things would take longer for me to do and I would get tired more easily, but I did not want that kind of life. I did not want to not try. So despite everything, I went my own way. I had a feeling inside me, a light that was not ready to die down. At the end of the day, I did not want to stop living the life I dreamed for myself just because something was trying to slow me down. Yes, I have had to take some detours and maybe running the marathon isn’t in the books for me anymore, but it doesn’t mean I have to give up on all the adventures. Living on my own for five years, I learned to be who I was and learned to live with all that I was not.
If you want to go somewhere, do your research and know there is always a way. I find that no matter where you go, the world is very accommodating. I was at an airport in Germany a few years ago and the moment I stepped off the plane there was an employee that showed me the route to the elevators and to baggage claim. Going into a different country I thought I would be struggling, but everyone was very kind and I never had a problem. So if you want to have an adventure, go. This could be as simple as going to a part of the city you have always wanted to explore, or as elaborate as visiting a different country. Travel the world as much as you can because those experiences cannot be bought and you will be so grateful for all the adventures you take.
Do what you love, no matter how badly it starts off. Do what makes you happy because sometimes, what you do can make all the difference in the world. If you don’t have a plan, that’s okay! You are allowed to get lost because you will get through it. Be brave and believe in something bigger than you – something that you might even never understand. Work hard and risk it even if you don’t know what you are doing. You will not go empty handed. What you will discover, at the least, is yourself. I had a choice, just as you do: to live a life of conformity and have a peace of mind, or to let go of what you are holding onto so tightly- security. I do not know where I would be had I picked security. It would have been easy to say yes to everyone around me; however, I know it would have been more damaging. Adventure gave me time, it gave me hope, and I promise you, adventure will give you life.