Today’s post is somewhat different. There are no cute photos with this post, nor links to my happy daily Instagram photos or even a mention towards Twitter. The sky is dark and cloudy, matching some gloomy memories that were brought to light this morning. I very rarely address personal issues, aside from my mom’s recent death. I don’t mind relaying some attempt at adventure fails, the alligator that chased me or my fear of snakes (just saw another one today outside the house). Any stories I have blogged about from my past have always been the ones that end on a positive note like: escaping that attempted abduction. And with bad stuff, and yes, there has been bad stuff in the distant past, but keeping this blog in a positive, inspirational place, I decline to share it. It’s not traveler’s stuff anyway. It remains locked away in scrolls in the deepest recesses of my mind- and for the most part, usually stays there. This may not be the prescribed form of therapy from a clinical point of view, but it has been working well for me, except on that rare occasion, like today, when I was called for jury duty selection.
Today one of those dusty memories was shaken from its’ scroll and I reacted. Emotionally. I was horrified with myself: the usual calm and positive self took a good shaking. Gee, thanks, Mr. Lawyer, I thought, not-so-kindly at the time. They were testing out possible jury candidates for a case, and I flopped. Miserably. But afterwards I realized that I act and react in life in accordance to my past. I think that in reality we all do. There is no such thing as a totally unbiased viewpoint. (My writing of bias does not pertain to either religion or race in this situation. Apparently in the judicial world, there are many other forms of bias). Can’t help but smile when you see a mom and a baby? Guess what- that makes you biased towards them (- in a good way- see, I just did it there- makes me biased: pro- moms & babies!) Swearing make you cringe? Another bias! Someone give you bad service/food in a restaurant and you swear never ever to go to that establishment again? Bias! Think Apple products are the best? Bias! Think Pokemon Go was the worst thing ever invented and have never played it? Bias! People can say they are totally unbiased, but they aren’t really. We view life as we are taught along the way, learning with those hard knocks and low notes as well as all of the highs. Each situation changes us and our outlook, from the cop that hands you a tissue when you find yourself crying in public or the lady who lets you and your toddler skip ahead in the long toilet line at Disney World to the guy in Istanbul who tries to kidnap you or that driver that cuts in front of you and almost causes an accident and beyond- well beyond. These are our experiences that constantly shape and evolve us. Because of Istanbul, I steer well clear of men with trench coats & oversized mustaches, big vans and… o’kay, I AM a bit neurotic about that kind of stuff because of my past experience! And these experiences are all different for every single one of us. We can choose to be bitter about the bad stuff or use it as a stepping stone, but good or bad, we cannot change the past. And as I slowly re-roll that memory back into the scroll and re-shelve it in that deep dark corner of my mind, I know now that no matter which shelf it sits on, it will never truly be forgotten. And with that Zen-attitude, it’s time to put one foot in front on the other and keep on adventuring.