You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way! ~Dr Suess
There are a lot of life lessons in his books and lucky people are able to see past the rhymes and recognize his brilliance. I consider myself one of those lucky ones. I love Dr. Suess! I loved him when I was younger and I think I appreciate him even more as an adult. The above quote can be a life affirming mission statement. This is one that I have always followed. There is always something new to explore and I have never been afraid to start an adventure.
A little glance into my psyche. I thrive when I am challenged. I adore trying something new. [which is a good thing, since I get bored very quickly] I’m not sure I actually have a comfort zone, because I honestly can’t think of anything that I won’t attempt. [no, I will not jump off a bridge because everyone else is- but I have gone cliff diving] Yes, there are things that give me butterflies in my stomach, but I can talk myself into setting them free. I’m a believer that your imagination will conjure up a heck of a lot worse scenario than what the reality really is. That’s how I live my life. I don’t do stupid things, I think them through, but you will never find me cowering in a corner afraid to try something new. I am usually the one front and center hand raised high and shouting “Pick me!”
Most people find a job, and stay in it whether they are happy or not. They are nervous about changing career paths or companies because of the unknown. Yeah, that is not me, the unknown calls to me. I chose to go to college 3000 miles away from home. Upon graduation, I returned to New Jersey and immediately found a job as a microbiologist. During the interview, I recognized that my “boss” had a thing for fungus. I had one mycology class in college, I steered the conversation to whatever I could remember from that class and it worked. A new job with a new life, and I was set. Except figuring out why and how food spoiled just wasn’t my passion, so I searched for something new.
I interviewed for a job at a pharmaceutical company and got it. Welcome to another new adventure. I was in charge of quality for birth control pills. Yep- that’s a job and that lasted about a year before, you guessed it.. my little voice in my head knew this was not my passion. I could not deal with pushing one more pill through a package and run a micro sample on it. My thumbs were killing me and there are only so many petri dishes you can label and microorganisms you can count without going insane.
I knew it was time for a new chapter in my book of life. I decided to go into teaching. I went to work from 6am – 2pm then drove to Rutgers University (45 min away) and took thirteen credits in one semester to get the classes I needed. I knew what I wanted, and I was determined to get it done. I took a leave of absence the next semester, did my student teaching, and was offered a job teaching Advanced Placement Biology right afterwards. And I was happy! I love teaching, it’s perfect for me. 45 minute stints and then it all changes. Each class has a different personality. That lasted about 5 years. Then…. the voice in my head started again. It started whispering to me, “Change, it’s time for change, this still isn’t quite right.” So I listened and I looked for something new.
Now I teach physical education at a high school. More specifically, I teach Project Adventure. This is a class that was designed for people like me. I get to teach kids how to rock climb and zipline. I teach them that “There is so much more just outside your comfort zone.” I lecture how “If you never challenge yourself, how do you know what you can do?” and “There are so many new and exciting things in the world, go out and try them all!”
Although I love what I do, that voice continued to haunt me. I found a place I can be happy, but there was something more that I needed. A passion that I couldn’t resist anymore. I needed that next “NEW” in my life. I needed what my heart really desired. I wanted to be in the wine industry. So once again, I turned to Dr. Seuss.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy[girl] who’ll decide where to go.
Mike and I knew where we wanted to go. We wanted to be in California and we wanted to be in the wine industry. In 2013, we decided it was time to stop dreaming and start acting. So we put our feet in our shoes and pointed them in the direction of our pursuing our passion. We created Dracaena Wines and with each new vintage we have a new mission. We are determined to craft a superb Cabernet Franc. Each vintage better than the last. Although we may be new to this game, we came out fighting! A Silver Medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is a heck of a good way start our new adventure.
This is my entry into March’s #MWWC. Last month Chad of (Un)Common Grape won the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #22 (#MWWC22) and just like all previous winners of the Challenge, his “reward” was to choose the theme for the following Challenge (in this case #MWWC23). In case, you haven’t figured it out yet, [which means my post mustn’t make sense] this month’s theme is NEW.