Here's to Now
There's a documentary film called 180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless. It's about a young man named Jeff Johnson who journeys from Ventura, California to Patagonia, Chile, retracing the 1968 route that Yvon Chouinard (founder of the Patagonia line) and Doug Tompkins (founder of The North Face line) took on their journey. Johnson decided to travel to Patagonia to accomplish his life goal of climbing the Corcovado Volcano and signed on with a small boat heading for Chile to complete his travels. The movie chronicles his journey and the narration is provided by Johnson himself. So you might be wondering why I'm describing a documentary about Patagonia...
The movie is heartwarming and makes you want to jump in the nearest sailboat and float away to the closest island and connect with your inner hippie but that isn't quite what I took from the movie. I've seen this documentary a few times and when I was mulling over what to write my last blog about I found myself humming a tune from the movie called "Here's to Now" by the band Ugly Casanova. I realized that there are parts of my summer here in D.C that are comparable to the film, metaphorically speaking. At the end of the film, Jeff Johnson is climbing the Corcovado volcano and is forced to stop his ascent 200 feet from the summit out of concerns for his safety. 200 feet! He was so close. He spent months sailing on the ocean and mentally preparing for his climb only to be let down just feet away from the top of the volcano. Every single one of us can relate to this feeling at one time or another in our lives.
Warm and Fuzzy Cliches
This is coming from a deep, dark place that I rarely pay much attention to, but listen up citizens! There is something to be learned from this story about Jeff Johnson and his almost-success at climbing Corcovado and I'm going to share it with you: Pay attention to the lessons you learn through your journeys. The end result is important! But the experiences along the way can change your life.
I am lucky enough to end up with a wonderful job at the Peace Corps here at the end of my internship this summer in D.C. I start on August 27th and just signed a new lease on a room for rent. So although my experience ended up differently than Johnson's and I have reached my proverbial summit, I never would be where I'm at now had I not decided to take a leap into the unknown, pack up my life and move to Washington D.C. I'm grateful to TWC for helping me land this internship and for arming me with all the necessary tools to make it a successful experience. The people I fell in love with along the way, the lifelong friends I found and the mistakes I made inevitably made my experience a life-changing one. So take the leap! Trust yourself and reach beyond what you think your abilities are because I promise that you are capable of more than you ever thought possible. If you've already reached your dream, dream bigger! And if you don't reach your dreams then you should probably just give up. No, that's not true, I'm teasing. Don't give up.
My final words of advice
Go watch the movie 180 Degrees South. Then buy the soundtrack because it's great. If you've already done these two things then you're well on your way to being an awesome person; congratulations! Next, take a leap. Move to D.C .or some other city and get an internship or volunteer at an organization that you've always had an interest in. Take the next step toward becoming the person you want to be when you grow up. Join TWC! This isn't a plug for them, it's a genuine remark on how I feel about the organization. I truly would not be where I am right now had I not become part of such an amazing network of individuals.
On that note, it's time for me to check out. It's been real, citizens.