What if....

Since starting this blog, I've struggled to make a definitive statement about myself (notice the handy "X" under: About Me). I guess that alone sums things up. I resist limitations and being compartmentalized. Instead, I find myself dwelling in possibilities...and pursue them passionately. Often you can find me challenging convention...is the sky really the limit? Just because something hasn't been done, does it really mean it can't be done? As a child, I'm sure I was the one asking the never ending, "Why?"

So, reader, be warned...there is no doubt I'm hatching a plan when a sentence starts with "I wonder what would happen if..."

Riding the wave of a brainstorm, I frequently put "What if" in motion--never really sure what will happen next. To my own astonishment, expressing a sincere interest often breaks down a number of barriers. (As the Persian proverb tells, "If you don't crack the shell, you can't eat the nut.") By deliberately seeking out what's possible, I'm often surprised to learn I'm traveling on an unconventional path.

Playing the "What if" game stretches me in ways I never expected. I exceed my own limits and then wonder, "how did I get here?" Nonetheless, my curiosity and "What if" philosophy has served me well. Call it dumb luck or serendipity...it's led me to some interesting adventures.

Here are a few examples:

1. What if I invited
Tony Bourdain to dinner?
2. What if I flew in a stunt plane...doing
aileron and barrel rolls over Puget Sound?
3. What if I organized a group of students and went to
Cuba? (Think Clinton administration...ie. legally entering Cuba with a visa)
4. What if I went scuba diving in the
Blue Hole with sharks?
5. What if I flew to Seattle for the ultimate blind date?
6. What if I trekked in the Guatemalan jungle canopy to watch howler monkeys feed on tree top blossoms?
7. What if we crossed the DMZ line into Cambodia, gaining military access with an expatriate and a bottle of Thai whisky?
8. What if we did an authorized fly by of the
Space Needle--flying so close you could see people dining in the restaurant at the top?
9. What if I had a clandestine meeting with a Secret Service Agent and he snuck me in to see preparations for the
Presidential motorcade?
10. What if I flew over
glaciers in Alaska on a float plane that nearly crashed?

Embracing the "What if..." philosophy, I've pieced together a wonderful life that is not easily summed up in a statement. It's not the kind of thing you plan for but it does require a different mindset. I seek out a life that's less ordinary...and it has rewarded me in ways I never could have imagined.