Adventure by Ollie

A Search for Purpose in a Random World


May 2014

Little Square Post-its


My life hasn’t been very adventurous lately. I feel like an airline passenger, sitting impatiently, as the plane circles a too busy airport for the millionth time waiting for a free parking space. It’s the same exact feeling I experienced when I was once stuck in a broken down elevator – wondering and waiting. I HATE waiting. I am filled with red hot-blooded urgency, and stuck in a holding pattern. It’s killing me.

I have my calendar to keep me on track when I feel completely lost in this urgency. I made this calendar using the wrong side of un-used Christmas wrapping paper. It covers an entire wall in my bedroom and is, or rather was, marked off in sections. Originally, the sections divided the calendar into neat, yearly compartments designed to assist me in planning responsibly like a mature person should. This paragon of excellent organization disappeared the minute I began putting it to use. Compartmental organization having been abandoned, I slap brightly colored post-it notes in seemingly random locations on the calendar when I’m working out the tasks needed to take in accomplishing my goals. These square paper tasks overlap, crash, wave at, and bump into one another in a colorful criss cross fashion. Comments such as, “This first,” or “after that,” along with arrows pointing in various directions serve as my last fisted grip on balanced life. It’s so messy.

When the AC unit cuts on, air from the vent above my beloved calendar blows onto these post-it notes and causes them to tap-tap-tap like the percussion of rain on a tin roof. Even in my sleep I hear them ticking the unrelenting demands of my unmet desires. I love and hate this paper beast I’ve created. It is my own, dear, sweet Frankenstein’s Monster.

I keep all the little square post-its of tasks which have been completed, and so far, I am developing quite a pile of them. They are precious to me. Each one represents a struggle I’ve overcome – some as large as Everest in my mind, and because of this I save them for a yearly ritual burnt offering of celebration (you are invited to attend).

Still, things aren’t moving off the wall fast enough, and I’m feeling frustrated. Some of the most important things in life cannot be planned, while other events do not obey the most carefully laid out plans. Life is stupid like that.

Today is a case in point. I was scheduled to take the first of my certification exams. I have spent so much time preparing for this test. It is the current Everest, its summit within reach. So many of my post-it notes have bold arrows pointing luminously towards this one task, and as so many other goals depend upon this one being completed it tap-tap-taps louder than the rest.

I am longing to take it down from my wall, mark it ceremoniously, and put it within the victory pile, but I can’t. As soon as I entered the test site today the administrator informed me in a casual business like tone – because she has no idea how demanding post-it notes can be – that they were experiencing “technical difficulties”. I was unable to take the test due to glitches in their updated computer testing software. I am so mad – I am breathing fire. And I’m stuck waiting for an email from some skyscraper of cubicles about a rescheduled test date. It still has not come. I am impatient, wanting to move forward, but held back. I sit beneath the weight of longing.

Honest to Chicken Soup

I blame Baptist preachers. Completely. Every time. I’m mad at them, too. The next time I hear a Baptist preach on the “purpose filled life,” I’m going to kick his offering collection plates over,…in the middle of his service,…on purpose. Those dam sermons are the cause of my unquenchable bloodlust for adventure. They are the reason I believe a safe life is not really worth living. I hate it. If you didn’t know – I really would rather be safe.

Preachers have a bad reputation, but the good ones (there are a few of them) are worth listening to – and my daddy is one of them.

Thanks to him and a couple other down to earth, honest to God, real men and women of God who believe in and practice what they preach (like I said, there are a few), I have lived a good and adventurous life. (Wait! Don’t get the wrong impression of me – I’m still a big chicken, but I am now a big chicken with some courage.) I have been to some amazing places, have met amazing people, and have seen the most AMAZING views. I’ve learned to put others first, treasure life, and nourish my soul – simple honest to chicken soup on a sick day type of life lessons. As a result, I’ve been to the top of that mountain, skinny dipped in that river, and yes, I do – I have the t-shirt to prove it.

I can blame them, but I’m glad I can blame them; it just means they did good to me. They brought a lot of good into my life. It’s because of them I’ve decided to leave my job in search of a more purpose filled life. This wasn’t easy for me to do, but then it’s probably one way I know it is the right thing to do, after all, sometimes goodbye is a good thing.

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