Lost in the middle of the woods. In Canada.
Stanley Park. One of the largest parks in North America. Over 1,000 acres of natural beauty in Vancouver, BC. It’s my first visit. And I’m about to be late for an afternoon appointment, if I can’t figure out how to find the bus that dropped me off. I thought I was smarter than this.
I’m walking up to people wearing Toronto Blue Jays hats and asking for directions. They don’t have any. Neither does the guy in the Cubs t-shirt.
I’m starting to get a little frantic, because nothing looks familiar. The bus stop is nowhere near where I am now. I’m stumbling through a parking lot, trying to decide which path looks the most like the one that brought me here.
At the edge of the parking lot, a catering van is pulling out. Caterers? Locals!
“Hey, can you help me? I’m trying to find the bus stop back into town.”
“It’s all the way back over there you have to go this way and then that way around the bend up past the gulley and the lumberman’s thing and then you go the other way and then you find it. Did you get that?”
My face twists. No. No, I did not.
“Well we are headed back that way. Get in, and we’ll give you a lift”
So, sitting three across in the catering truck – kind of an oversized tall-boy van with vittles and chafing dishes in the back – we wind and curve through the park, a solid mile. Or nearly 1.7 kilometers, as they say in Canada.
Wow. I was really lost.
We’re headed towards the mysterious and elusive bus stop, and as we’re getting closer these guys go, “Look, we’re going back where you’re headed we’ll just drive you into town”[bctt tweet=”Trust, and move forward. Next? New adventure and unexpected results.”]
On the journey I chat with Pedro from Colombia, who discovered a new layer of comedy in my rock-solid Spanish accent and nearly 600-word vocabulary.
In the middle seat, I meet Vancouver actor Scott McGrath. Hello, sir, and let’s talk show business.
He tells me about being in the Canadian premiere of “Carrie the Musical”. Steps me through his resume, talking Netflix shows (there’s a big studio here in Vancouver, he tells me. This city is the backlot and backdrop for just about every show on TV…)
I mention that they were shooting The Man in the High Castle near my campsite. He tells me about his work in independent films, voiceovers and more.
So what’s the point of this story? Hitchhiking is fun and safe if you do it in Canada? Always ride with actors and you’ll hear interesting stories? Or this fun fact: Canadians are super-nice?
Actually, yes and no. Yes, Canadians are super-nice. But no, that’s no the whole story.
The thing that I see is: what I had planned (taking the bus) was nowhere near as interesting as what I discovered.
I abandoned my plan.
This emotion showed up, tell me if it’s familiar to you as well:
“Now all is lost, because I am! What will I do?”
Then, a new opportunity presented itself.
Here’s the breakdown.
- Plan fails.
- Now, I am lost (which was unplanned).
What’s the only path forward?
Seek with an open mind.
Discovery is the only way out.
Stop, look and listen (that’s my philosophy;-).
Trust, and move forward. New adventure and unexpected results.
Every journey offers an opportunity for new discovery. Aren’t we all travelers, in some way, every day?
Does discomfort lead to discovery? Not always. Sometimes I’m just uncomfortable because I’m hungry. Or there’s a crying baby in seat 14B. Or…whatever. But sometimes, discomfort might just be a signal that something better is coming my way. If I can let go of what’s making me uncomfortable long enough to see it. And to seize it.
What if what life offers is a lot better than what I have planned, if I’m just able to see it?
Wow. I’ve spent a lifetime planning, organizing and striving. What have I been missing? I wish I could see that what unfolds is what I need. But, candidly, I don’t always trust it. I wish I did. I wrote this blog post, in part, as a reminder to myself. Maybe it’s a reminder for you as well.[bctt tweet=” ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ – N.D. Walsh #quote”]
I wish I could do what Mickey Singer did, in The Surrender Experiment. Not the part where he gets sued and embroiled in a multi-year, multi-million dollar lawsuit. But the other stuff, where he learns to accept what comes his way. Even when it comes with a team of lawyers, subpoenas, and other ugly stuff.
Reminds me of the quote, and I’m not sure who said it, but here it is:[bctt tweet=” ‘Man plans. God laughs.’- Yiddish proverb”]