It light of the impending end of the summer and by extension the “Summer of Jered” I thought it might be good to deviate from my usual aloof assessment of various political and philosophical topics to reflect on what was learned during this adventures of this era of awesomeness. When looking back on any period of time it is tempting to reminisce about the various adventures and events that occurred and how great they were. However, I find it’s better to focus on the lessons learned rather than get bogged down in the specifics. So without further ado, into the rabbit hole we go.
Lesson 1. Spontaneous adventures are more exciting than those planned in advance.
Some of the greatest moments of this summer would have made Yoda himself scowl in disappointment. I think the main reason he scoffed at the idea of adventure and excitement, is probably because of how calculated your average Jedi usually is, a calculation not present in this Jedi’s summer. When you have a plan for every situation, it is far more difficult to truly embrace the excellence of the situation. For example, planning to go on a vacation with a very specific itinerary while maybe enjoyable, lacks the rush one gets from say, jumping in a lake at 3:00 am. While having a plan is probably advisable for a great deal of things in our lives, sometimes its better to just throw caution to the wind and see where our feet take us. Besides, to paraphrase Mr. Steinbeck, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry anyway.
Lesson 2. Time only continues to accelerate as we get older, making it important to take risks.
In other words, sometimes we need to take the red pill. Over the years it has become apparent, that put in the same situation as Neo, I may have taken the blue pill. While avoiding risk is not always a bad idea, sometimes we need to step outside our comfort zones and embrace a bit of uncertainty. No one ever affected great change in the world without walking a line bordering the realm of danger. Be it in the everyday decisions like trying new foods, or in the grander life changing events like changing professions, risks are required to reach our full potential. T.S. Elliot probably said it best, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Lesson 3. The great moments of life are made great by the company you share them with.
Without Chewbacca, Han Solo is just an unsavory space smuggler who would have most likely fallen to his demise long before realizing his greater destiny. Similarly, we see the reflections of our actions and experiences through those we choose to share them with. All the excellence of experience in the world means nothing if you are unable to share it with others. While there is something to be said about the comfort of solitude, when it comes to truly embracing life, it is an activity best embarked upon with trusted confidants. As time passes us by we may forget the minor details of the journeys we have been on, but the people we shared them with remain in our thoughts long after all else fades away.
Lesson 4. Life is what you make it.
For all intents and purposes, nothing about this summer separated it from those that came before it. Well, except for my perception of course. I determined to approach every opportunity as a chance for another epic adventure. Leaping at any chance to make the summer worthy of its summer of jered hashtag. Jumping in lakes, sleeping on random hotel floors, stepping outside the realm of comfort. All required taking control of life and making it worthy of the expectations I had for it. Even when things don’t work out, adapting to the situation in a way that fits the view you have for your life is key. After all, in the words of George Bernard Scott, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life’s about creating yourself.”