My earliest memory of ‘Navigating the Unknown’ is of Aunty Anne walking me past the Bee Gees’ old house on Keppel Road to their old school, Oswald Road School.
Nurseries did not exist then, so at five this was my ‘first day’ of separation from my familiar and cosy routine life.
Imagine titch me, both thrilled and terrified of the tall railings with the looming Edwardian municipal school in the background. It was daunting!
I remember the walk, it felt like ages before I got to the main door.
My excitement turned to uncertainty. I still remember having cold shivers and my stomach churning as I walked through the empty smelly disinfectant corridors. Aunty Anne’s sensible shoes clicks echoed giving me goose bumps.
When we stopped at a door Aunty Anne let go of mine and quickly turned away leaving me with a strange lady. I was scared. It was silly I knew I was ready to come to school but when I actually got there, I was no longer sure. Torn between the choices of running after Aunty Anne or opening the closed door, I chose the door. Lucky for me this time, I found a new world of chaos, paint, and the biggest Wendy house I’d seen.
Since then there have been many first days. Like you perhaps I’ve been through many good and less good situation but what I felt and how I navigated that first day still serves me.
Have you felt the rollercoaster experience too? Of being excited at the start of the rollercoaster until the actual reality hits and then the appearance of doubt and despair at the top followed by the hands up curiosity ending with the knowledge that had more than survived. Often the unknown became an unlikely gift.
In my life like most of us I have been on the rollercoaster ride many times. Sometimes it has even taken more than a couple of years to make sense of the ‘unknown. Yet even then I have understood the importance of navigating it with CURIOSITY and showing EMPATHY to myself, others, and the circumstance until I found the gift in the journey.
Today in these uncertain times I find myself like all of us in a situation that we are yet to completely comprehend. We’ve heard the science and the politics but there are no certainties and we are in the dark.
We can’t rely on the experts because bless them they don’t know. Whist we are in the dark I intend to get busy and NOT stumble along blindly.
Instead I choose to NAVIGATE the unknown as lockdown relaxes.
I intend to use the TOOLs innocently packed in my little satchel on the way to Oswald Road School when I was five.
Tools of :
Empathy (for myself, others, and circumstance) and
A huge amount of PLAYFULNESS.
I’ve found when I make something a game, I become more focused and experimental. And that leads to extraordinary luck.
So now I’m curious about what other tools have you packed in your toolbox?
Share your tools and how you use them so we ca can COLLECT and ADD some more to ours.