At seven-years-old, my softball coach presented me with the “Most Enthusiastic” award. I was so thrilled to be acknowledged for the thing I liked, and still love, most about myself. Can’t you see me in my pigtails jumping for joy? Oh wait, I still do that!
As a kid and teen I was secretively and painfully self-conscious – unfamiliar things scared me because I was so afraid of making a fool of myself, and I couldn’t handle being teased. Still not so great at it. But it gets stifling in your own head, so I used to push myself out of my comfort zone. Beyond my fears of the unknown I couldn’t stand the idea of a mundane and story-less life. Further and further I pushed the boundaries (earning class clown in the process), until adventures went from occasional cravings, to bi-annual journeys to the must-have my sojourns are today.
Growing up we took two trips a year. In the summer, we’d camp. Mostly I remember Yellowstone, though I know there were many places. In the winter we skied June and Mammoth Mountains. But always my favorite part of nature has been trees. As a child, I used to dance with a palm tree in our yard during Santa Ana winds. My Giving Tree was this amazing tree struck by lightening that I used to climb at Eisenhower Park until they cut it down. I used to pretend I could send messages through the Eucalyptus trees in Santiago Park. I made love in orange groves.
I took to the road to sell my eight books, and it’s as if the gypsy truly woke up. Now I’m gone on some adventure a couple times a month – more if I can help it. And when I’m home I seek out the wacky and wonderful. I’m excited to write just on this topic and I hope it inspires you, because after all that’s the best result of enthusiasm.