Have you ever had an epiphany?
If you're not sure, here's the definition stripped straight from Google.
The festival commemorating the Epiphany on January 6.
A manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.
A moment of sudden revelation or insight.
I've had exactly one epiphany in my life. Well, two, but one couldn't have happened without the other.
Here's my epiphany story.
Epiphany number 1 Snowboarding. I must learn to snowboard.
At seven-years-old, this is not an epiphany, at 37 it is.
Or temporary insanity.
I got obsessed with the idea of surfing down a mountain after seeing someone doing it on a news story (about something else) on the news one night.
My level of commitment is what elevated it to "epiphany" status.
I drove to the nearest resort, which in Virginia, wasn't all that "near."
I rented gear that smelled like mothballs and decided lessons were for "other people."
I was going to "teach myself." I knew how to ski. How hard could it be?
Someone told me snowboarding was hard to learn but, "easy to master" (they lied.) I thought I'd be Sean White in no time.
I don't want to say it went badly, but...
The guy manning the dark green ski lift hut at the top of the bunny slope grew so weary of watching my catastrophic "dismounts" from the chairlift, he slid open the little Plexiglas window and started yelling advice out to me.
He'd see me coming up the lift, angling for my dismount like bull rider getting on a bull and he'd start yelling down the line of chairs as I approached.
"Lift the tip of your board up!"
Others could hear. They stared. It became a spectacle.
"Look up! Not down at your board." and "Oh, my God! Lady! Are you okay?"
He said that one several times.
Strangely, I was okay and not in the least bit deterred. Such was my determination to do this own my own.
All those falls eventually knocked some sense into me and I registered for "beginners clinic" at a resort six hours away on the last weekend of the season, which is very short on the east coast.
The first day, it rained. Poured. I was on snow, in pouring rain, learning to snowboard.
By the end of the second day, I was making my turns (this is a big milestone in snowboarding).
I could get up, stay up, get off the lift (sort of.)
Still, no one would ride up with me, so legendary were my chairlift exits.
But I could carve a turn. I'd broken the back of it.
Within 24-hours of making my first turn, I had my second epiphany.
Epiphany 2 The morning after the clinic, I woke up feeling wonderfully alive and triumphant.
I had one clear thought in my head. It was the closest I've ever come to hearing a "voice." It said almost loudly,
"Move to Colorado!"
I thought, "Why the hell not? YES!"
That was early April in Virginia. By October, I was living at the foot of a ski hill in the Colorado Rockies. True story.
When I was about 10-years-old, I read the book Freaky Friday.
Here's the plot summary from IMDb:
"An overworked mother and her daughter do not get along. When they switch bodies, each is forced to adapt to the other's life for one freaky Friday."
If you could trade places and access the knowledge and talents of anyone in the world? Who would you choose?
You couldn't make a withdrawal from their bank account, but you could access their intellect and talents.
Swapping with Sean White for the day would have made me an ace snowboarder and made him use lots of "adult" language.
If you've been searching for something new or wondering what to do next, your answer to the "brain swap" question could open a door.
Even if it has nothing to do with "making a living" (like snowboarding.)
What we choose to learn reveals a lot about what has the power to make us feel alive.
Looking back, I wanted to snowboard because I thought it would make me feel more alive.
Even if you start out with zero skill or aptitude (me on a snowboard.)
Even if you make a bad choice about how you start to learn.
You won't quit if it's your "freaky epiphany."
What would you endure pain and discomfort to chase?
Whatever it is, chances are that doing it would make you feel more alive.
If you want to tell me who your body swap freaky Friday fantasy person is, and why, I would love to know.
Send it on. All responses to my emails come straight to my in-box.
Which reminds me. If there's a topic you'd like me to tackle. A career, job hunt, digital nomad type insight you think I could laser in on. Ask away. I'm always looking for new ideas. Leave a comment below.
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