Unless you count mosquitos or deer bones, that little tiny antelope was the honest-to-god only piece of wildlife we saw in the backwoods of Yellowstone. I thought I was going to be on a walking safari, and there I was. Five days. Thirty-two miles. One animal.
When it comes to big events, I imagine every detail in advance. Disappointment is bound to come from having expectations like that. Because true adventures are unpredictable. Otherwise, they wouldn't really be adventures.
I had a lot of expectations about what graduate school would be like (cough Wonder Boys cough). And, it's been a challenge to adapt to the realities. I've been thinking a lot about one of my favorite quotes from buddhist monk Pema Chödrön:
"The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That's what we're going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought."
She's right, isn't she? In Montana, I learned the most from moments that were strange and wonder-filled. Moments that were unlike anything I could have anticipated. The trick was to keep exploring and let this place surprise me. Only then could I surprise myself.