Changing Paths

Hello everyone,

Sorry I have been away for a while. Life has been hectic lately. I started this blog in September with the hopes of inspiring you to treat everyday life as an adventure. With that in mind, I would like to share the adventure that we will be embarking on (hopefully together), for the next year.

This blog was something I was unsure about. I didn’t know where it would go. Finally, I do know where it will be going.

To end the suspense, the new adventure I will be going on is studying abroad. I will study in the French Riviera during the Fall of 2019. It has taken a lot too get to the point I am at today.

From not wanting to go to college. To choosing the wrong college. To transferring schools. Then to the challenges I have faced since coming to Pitt Greensburg. It has all been a prologue too what is about to happen.

Over the next several months, we will be embarking on adventure that will bring many challenges. It will be hard at points. The reward is going to be a once and a lifetime experience.

Below is a podcast telling the story of how I got to this point in my life. I hope you enjoy, and will continue along with me as we change the path we are on today.

A Different Type of Adventure

This week our adventure is a bit different.

My girlfriend Elise and I did this 36-question assignment that is supposed to let you get to know each other better. It was fun, but also challenging. It took us quite a while to get through and, to be truthful, we didn’t even know how to begin answering most of the questions.

Personally, I did not really like the questions. We couldn’t answer them well and some of them were too personal for us to share on camera. It was an adventure, though. After we were done recording we laughed a lot.

When I asked Elise about how she felt about it, she said the questions “were too personal, and hard to answer.” She felt it would have gone better had the questions been simpler. I agreed.

Elise did feel that she understood me better after doing the exercise, which I think is the whole point of doing it.

I also felt I knew Elise better, too.

What I can tell you from doing this experience is we both really do love each other.  It was a lot of fun for us, and maybe in 10 years we’ll do it again. I think it will go better. Below is our recording.

 

My Adventure Buddy

This week’s post is near and dear to me. A few years ago, I met my best friend Elise. We have been on many adventures together. From Europe to Pittsburgh, we have seen so much.

We love to go on adventures together. We are always doing something new. I started dating my best friend two years ago this week. It has been an awesome time. We are adventure buddies. In fact, she wrote me a book called The Adventure Book. Every day is a new adventure.

This year Elise went to a different school then me. We have been a part. Whenever we do see each other its always an adventure. We explore, do new things, and go to new restaurants.

When I went to visit her over fall break, I decided to interview her on how she felt about our last topic of adventure in our backyard.

Here it is:

Roads Untraveled

This weekend, I went home late Saturday night, because I wanted to see some friends who had come into town for the weekend. Sunday morning upon waking up I decided I would attend church. Something I haven’t done since I moved into school over a month ago.

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I went to church and saw my friends. It was a nice time. I decided afterward that I would go home and visit my mother, who I haven’t seen since school started as well. (I did not come from home, I came from a friend’s house)

As I traveled home on my regular route I encountered a “Road Closed” sign. A local bridge is being replaced.

Thank god I know how to read. If I didn’t I would have plowed through the signs, not knowing what they meant. My 2008 Gray Pontiac G5 and I, would have plunged into to the creek below. I would have probably died. My car would have been a goner.

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Reading saved my life.

What happened next is the adventure part of the day. I didn’t know how to get home. I only knew one way. That was to cross the bridge and die.

Inconvenienced, I pulled up my GPS on my smart phone to find a way home. The GPS wanted me to go across the bridge that was closed. That could not happen

So, I read the map of the local roads around me. I figured out a way home. I read the map and made a plan.

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Angrily, I started to drive home. I went down roads I had never been down before. I saw things I never had seen before. Along the way I came across some of the most beautiful old farm houses, situated on cute little farms.

The crazy thing was, I was going down roads that are only ten minutes away from home. For me they were uncharted territory. By the time I got home I was no longer angry. I was quite happy.

That unfamiliar drive home turned into a great adventure. I will always remember my drive home. Maybe some time I will go just for fun, to see the farms again.

It was an exciting experience. While I was unhappy, I created an adventure out something that was really inconveniencing to me at first.

And that is what this blog is all about.

The Power of Reading

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We often take for granted the power we have in reading. Reading means so much to us as human beings. However, we often do not think of its value.

There are many different ways that we read on a daily basis. Maybe you read a book or a magazine. Maybe you read on your phone. Maybe you read the news. Maybe you read sports. You read the text messages people send you. You read what your friends post on social media. You read signs and things of importance.

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Whatever you do, I can almost guarantee that reading comes in along the way.

Now you might ask Jared, why would reading come into play for a blog that is about everyday adventure? It is a great question. Many people have the idea that reading is inconvenient, or a waste of time.

As a college student when I hear the term read, it gives me a yucky feeling at first. When your professor tells you to read something, more than likely it’s going to be something you don’t want to read. The task assigned isn’t in your interest.

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However, we fail to realize is that reading is a huge part in our daily adventure. What would it be like if we could not read? For many of us there was time in our life where we could not read. We most likely don’t remember it.

There are many people in the world who cannot read. According to The World Literacy Project 757,000,000 people in the world cannot read. About 30,000,000 of them live right here in the United States. That is about fourteen percent of our population.

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I challenge you for a second to think about what your daily adventure. What would be like if you could not read? It would be much more difficult.

I for one value to my ability to read.

Reading has taken me on so many adventures in life.  Sometimes reading takes me down new exciting adventures that I want to take. Other times, it helps prevent me from taking adventures that I defiantly do not want to take.  Reading also takes me on adventures I don’t want to take but have to take anyways.

Often, I find myself in little adventures while I read. I love to read books, specifically fiction books. Currently, I am going through a book called Imagining America. It’s a set of short stories on immigration. I find myself as I read putting myself into the stories. As if I am there.

In my imagination I am creating an adventure. For a second, I take myself out of the world. I am in the story. It’s amazing. I just made an adventure right out of my bed.

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I also read the news a lot. I think the news itself is an adventure. When I read the news I am learning about something new. I am imagining what it is like to be there in the news story. I try my best to put myself in that person’s shoes. That is an adventure.

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Reading is an adventure.

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Defining Everyday Adventure

Everyday adventure is quite different from the big adventures we think of. To get us into thinking about everyday adventure, I am going to list some terms that make me think of components of my everyday adventure.

1 . Shoes

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2 . Walk Ways

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3 . Hairspray

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4 . Food

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5. My Bed

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Now, I know what you are thinking. How do these terms have anything to do with adventure? Maybe the first two items make a little bit of sense to you. I guarantee, the last three probably do not.

Shoes are a necessity for my daily life. I own several pairs of them.  Putting on any pair of shoes means going outside. Outside, means going on adventure.

Do you ever realize that we truly have no idea what is going to happen when we go outside? We lace up or shoes. Slide on our boots. Put on our flip flops. All for an experience.

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Yes, we can predict what will happen when we go outside. However, do we really know what will happen?  My shoes show miles. I walk miles and miles every day. Many of my shoes go to different places, including countries, states, cities, and experiences. Most of my miles though, are in the places around me.

Many of my shoes are worn on the bottoms. There is mud on the sides, or at least their stained brown from the dust. Inside they all have my foot print. It identifies them to me.

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My shoes tell the story of my life. They are a part of my adventure.

Walkways, walkways are important. They define where we go, and what we see. Think about it how often do we follow a walkway. It is almost daily.

I bet most of time you stick to the same walkway. Whether it is to work, class, or anywhere else, walkways lead us places. While I don’t like to define my life by walkways. Often, I create my own. They still create some of my biggest adventures.

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Today was a perfect example of a walkway leading to an adventure. The concrete walkway to class was covered in water. I continued on my way to class on my rural western Pennsylvania campus; only to find a few steps later that our campus was experiencing the biggest flood many had ever seen.

It was incredibly sad to see our campus underwater. However, there was an adventure to be had.

Many students came out as a community to spectate. We talked, many of us in disbelief, and took photos with our cellphones. Walking down that walkway created a new adventure for me. One I will not forget.

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I made new friends that day. An adventure that will last a life time. You never know where your walkways will take you.

Hairsprayalso defines part of my daily adventure. It’s quite funny. That green, Garnier Fructis bottle, is an adventure in itself to me.

Looks can be an adventure. If you know me, and as you get to know me, you will see that many photos of me look different. Why? My hair takes a different style every day. It really depends on what my hairspray wants to do.

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It is unpredictable.

Food,it’s a very general term. Why would I put such a general term in my blog? I love food. It is one of my favorite things. Food in itself can be an adventure.

Food is more of a symbolic thing for me though. Food means conversation. It means fellowship. Many meals in life we eat with others, and some alone.

For me, there each an adventure. A meal with friends brings stories of the day. What we have experienced. We fellowship with each other, and share our adventures.

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Many time’s our conversations turn into adventures, but we share one thing in common. The food that we came for is what brought us together. It gave us our adventure.

My Bed, it is probably the messiest place I know. If you came into my bedroom right now you would see a pile of covers, books, paper, my remote, laptop, and me in my bed.

My bed is my workplace. It is where I come up with some of my best ideas. I read here, watch the news, write, and so much more.

It is significant to my adventure. Beneath this pile of sheets and items is a person. That person is me. I make my adventure. Many of my adventures start from here. I get up and go from here. I create from my bed.

My bed is my central location. I do everything from here.

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The five terms above are all important to my daily adventures. Really, there are probably hundreds of terms that can fit into my daily adventures. When you decide to open your life to being an adventure, you never know what will happen in your day.

Which of these terms is most important? I really don’t know. I think there all important. We define our daily adventures ourselves. To you one of these terms may be very important, or maybe it is another one not listed.

For me, the most important term in this list is my bed.

It’s not what many people think of a bed. Many people think of a bed as a place to sleep or to make love at. My bed is more like an office. Yes, I do sleep here, but there is so much more to it.

If you looked at my bed right now you would see a pile of covers. There is turquoise blue sheet covering the mattress. It does not match my sheet or pillow case, because I spilled juice all over my bed.

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My blankets are heaped up on my bed. I get hot at night and push them to bottom. If you look carefully there not in order. My comforter is first, then my sheet. The blanket that is supposed to be in the middle is on top.

There is lots of stuff in my bed. If you looked through it right now you might find a few shirts, socks, and underwear. There also is random deodorant sticks, and bottles of cologne.

You can also see my office components. Notebooks, pens, books, and my laptop are strewn about.  There are things everywhere. If you’re lucky you may even find a bag of chips.

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My bed is one of my happy places. I create here. When I write my stories, do my research, and read my articles, it is done right here. I got a job from here. Almost everything that is important in my life’s adventure has happened here.

Daily life most of the time is in my bed. It is where I live and adventure. Whether my adventure starts here, or is entirely from here, this place is important to me.

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If your adventure doesn’t start in your bed, try it sometime.

-Jared