Does this ever happen to you?
You're swept up by the promise of a life-changing experience:
Take the weight off!
Awaken your spirituality!
Connect to others!
So you join a spin class, a book club, a hiking group. New Year, New You! Right?
You set out on your journey. With a spring in your step, you unroll the yoga mat, buy Oprah's recommended book, purchase some discounted hiking boots.
And then you meet the instructor.
Behold: the chatty yoga teacher, the over-sharer, the ebullient tour guide.
How do you react?
Do you think: "Oh boy... I have to listen to THIS for the next 60 minutes? Yikes!"
Or do you go with the flow?
The Ebullient Tour Guide
It's 2007 and I am visiting Melbourne, Australia, with my Mom, cousin and aunt -- truly a once in a lifetime experience. To enhance our journey we decide to take a day trip on the Great Ocean Road. Enter Bernie, our fun-loving, white-bearded Australian bus driver/tour guide: jovial like Santa Claus, racy like Ricky Gervais.
About 15 minutes into the tour we realize that we are not just Bernie's passengers, we are his captives... err captive audience. Stuck in his whimsical trip down memory lane, we are treated to a concoction of campy jokes and off-color humor.
Navigating with just one hand on the wheel, Bernie waves the microphone enthusiastically like a flag. Squinting into the rear-view mirror, he concentrates more on that we "get" his jokes rather than paying attention to the adjacent cliff (shudder!)
"Watch the road, Bernie!" We shout.
"Oh Sheilas..." He chuckles in response.
Merrily zigzagging down the Great Ocean Road, Bernie recounts stories of pristine rain forests, wild koalas and hippity-hoppin' kangaroos. If ever there is a blessed pause in the rhetoric, Bernie cues up the sweet-but-gently-grating-when-overlyplayed-music of Karen Carpenter through the speakers.
Wincing, we think: "Oy... we have to listen to THIS for the next 8 hours?"
- Sulk in the back of the bus, silently praying for time to pass.
Fortunately, after some internal negotiating (and I mean really wrestling with our own negativity), we choose #3. We had already paid for the tour... we might as well enjoy it, right?
When life gives you lemons make lemonade!
When in Rome...!
You get the point.
I liken it to the Kimmy Schmidt effect: learn to be unbreakable.
And what happens?
We soak up the sun, snicker at Bernie's self-deprecating jokes and start to hum a little Karen Carpenter along the way (gasp!).
We befriend other passengers from around the world and collectively admire the brave 17-year-old "Sheila" who is backpacking solo.
We're all in the moment, thanks to Bernie.
The hours start to fly by.
We marvel at the gigantic trees in the rain forest. We squeal at the adorable koalas. ("But be careful," Bernie warns, "Sure, they're cute, but they'll scratch your eyes out if you get too close!")
We learn that sometimes it's ok to join on in the crazy.
... to go with the flow
... to roll with the punches
... to hum some cheesy 70's tunes.
"We've only just begun... " played gently in our heads.
Are you unbreakable?
Image source: eonline
Jennie enjoys writing about pop culture, marketing and parenting. Follow her on twitter @jenniesuth. Check out this post or this one if you get the chance. Also, not affiliated with it, but highly recommend Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix - it's hilarious!