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1. What do you consider adventurous? I’m a teacher and a learner. I consider learning (and the experience of taking an intellectual or creative risk) extremely adventurous. I really admire lifelong learners, because they rarely grow stale or boring, and also tend to take things on with an adventurous spirit.
2. Name your best adventure yet. Motherhood definitely has been an adventure, a labor of love, and a real heart wrenching, gut-checking experience. I think being a mom will always rank #1 in the adventure department. However, I view what I do on a daily basis in the classroom as pretty adventurous! Especially now that I teach high school visual art (3D), I am constantly jumping off the deep end so to speak with students as they learn to solve creative problems and risk failure in the process. It keeps me sharp.
3. Where do you think your adventurous spirit came from? I’ve always been scrappy. I was a tomboy and an athlete. I am a feminist and an intellectual, but I’ve always strived to be accessible and down to earth. I’m also persistent in my lifelong desire to learn and always be a better, more interesting person. I didn’t have a very traditional upbringing, but I had a lot of love growing up. When you feel loved, I think it gives you the confidence to try new things.
4. Describe an adventure that went wrong and how you handled it. My first marriage cratered and went to total crap. I own my failure from that experience. I dug way deep and channeled a lot of inner-creativity. That is when I became more mature and sure of myself as an artist. My divorce both required and allowed me to be “different” from how I had been before. It was a rebirth in a lot of ways, and I am better for it.
5. Did parenthood change your definition of adventure? Definitely, but not right away. Prior to having my son, a lot of my ideas about adventure were very external: traveling, dancing, partying or meeting new people. Over time, I began to understand that looking within oneself can be a real risk. Raising my son has forced me to examine so much of how I was raised, what kind of adult I was becoming, and what kind of role model I was going to be for him. Loving my son, supporting him and cheering him on, as well as holding him to the highest standards has been risk. He’s a part of me, and is like I was, and he is so much more together than I was at his age. I always tell him I’m not afraid to be the bad guy. That’s a scary feeling for a parent, but oh, so necessary.
6. Name one thing a person can do to keep life from getting mundane. Just one thing? Okay, if you insist: Plant a garden.
7 . How has age affected your view of what is ‘adventurous’? Growing older has only made me embrace a wider array of adventures. I’m not planning to jump out of an airplane anytime soon, but I wouldn’t have even in my teens or 20s. I’ve just grown to see that it is the little day to day adventures, the willingness to try something new, to learn something, to plant something, to make something with your own hands, that are a big part of the adventurous spirit. I remember the exhilaration the first time I learned how to light a propane torch, change the oil in my Jeep, finish a 10K, earn the affection and respect of a hard-shelled teenager, marry a second time (and I got it right this time) and realize that my son’s dreams were coming true. All risks. All adventures.