Transformational Event...Thanks PA!
Yesterday I was asked, “What was the single most transformational event in your life”? You may find the answer as surprising as I did. The single most transformational (and impactful) event in my life was getting a job at .org">Project Adventure, Inc. I worked at “PA” for nearly 13 years. When I see PA in my mind, I see it as a big, strong, fast moving and somewhat tumultuous river. A river with many, many tributaries, off shoots and sometime lazy lagoons. A river that eventually meets the ocean and creates a place where the seawater and the fresh water join. A haven for new life to spawn, be nurtured (sometimes get eaten up) and eventually, develop their own style or go their own way.
My journey at PA has been much like a “trip down river”. There were challenges, much like white water rapids where I had to just depend on my skills and my instincts and paddle with all my might. And there were lazy day of being guided along relying on the skills, talents and expertise of those who came before me.
Much like a river provides for all who live near or on it, PA provided many things for me. Here is a quick list:
• An income suitable to raise two daughters. • Comrades, who supported me, witnessed my growth, trusted my hunches and tolerated my challenging behaviors. • The opportunity to learn, serve and have a small but important role in impacting alternative education. • Development of how I strive to live my life. It goes something like this, “Growth happens when I stretch, embrace the uncomfortable, take risks and trust the process”. • Understanding that the greatest learning comes from “reflecting” upon experiences not from the actual experience itself. • The courage and tenacity to move 3,500 miles across the country and build a life in California (second most transformational event). • The opportunity to visit over 30 states and work with people from across the US. • The best possible education on self-leadership, teamwork, management, collaboration (experiential education that is). Not always pretty but I sure learned a lot. • And the absolute best group of friends, both colleagues and clients, who still to this day remain in my life and are some of my greatest mentors, teachers and role models and all around great people.
As I wrap up 14 days in New England for my daughter’s wedding, it is the perfect time to reflect on Project Adventure with gratitude. I’d love to recognize each impactful person by name, but that list would exceed 300 individuals and surely I’d still miss someone. Yes, hands down, getting a job at PA was the most transformational experience in my life and the foundation for all the amazing growth, changes, connections, experiences and courageous acts in my life since. Thank you PA!