Recently, while I was cooking dinner, my husband read an article to me from one of his many sailing magazines about a family who chose to spend 5 years sailing the open seas. What most caught my attention were the first few sentences:
When I was a kid, I devoured Choose Your Own Adventure books. “If you think Mary should open the spooky door, turn to page 16. If you think Mary should turn away from the haunted house, turn to page 23.” I always read my way through all of the possible outcomes, cheering for characters who escaped the monsters with treasures in hand, and shaking my head at those who stuck to safe choices, too afraid to take a chance at the spooky door. Now that I live my own Cruse Your Own Adventure, I have mastered the agony of choice in the real world as well; although, in the end there is really only one fundamental decision in cruising: If you want to stay home, turn to page 48; if you want to move onto a boat, turn to page 11. I still remember how immense that choice felt when my husband and I were first kicking the idea around. As soon as we turned to page 11, though, we realized that we’d just jumped off a skyscraper only to land on a ledge three feet down. We were safe. We had signed on for a frustrating, exhausting and rewarding life, only to find that every page we turned to was a good one. The hard part wouldn’t be escaping the monsters – it would be having to let so many good choices go.
Immediately I thought of how closely this parallels choosing to “Opt Out and Jump In” to choosing and creating your own learning adventure. Because School is such an ingrained part of our culture, to most folks choosing a different option feels VERY risky. Though in many ways very rational and logical, it still feels like “jumping off a cliff”. It is, in fact, an immense, life changing decision. Yet, rather than jumping off a cliff, it is much more like plunging into a pool….. of enlivened learning, free to swim toward those wonders which draw you… encouraging you to Be you and explore the best direction for Your life.
You truly can Choose your Own Learning Adventure. Just turn the page.