The giant "WTF" in life is: We are given a bag of skin with no instructions and have about 78.2 years to figure it out. My toothpaste has instructions printed on the tube, as does the bottle of shampoo in my shower, and I can't help but wonder how we got shafted by the lack of our instruction book to life.
So get this ... I discovered our instruction book (well, video-adapted-from-a-book), and as it turns out, our instruction manual is so frickin' simple it will make you cry (or at least tear up a little) because you realize everything is so easy. It's six minutes long and oh-so-simple, so click the "play" button before moving forward. (Note: ladies and men who like men, you are really going to like it at around the line, "... and on you will go though your enemies prowl ..." Be still my heart.
Now that you've seen the video you may be rethinking your life a little, and it just so happens I have five solutions for you. This week I bring you five ways you can live the way you were supposed to ... with ease and fun. Please promise me you will go and make your life easy now.
1) Flying Lessons (or just a simple flight from SRQ) --- "You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights! You'll join the high flyers who soar to high heights."
There are a number of reasons to take flying lessons. A) It makes you even more interesting. B) You can avoid TSA. C) You can leave any time you want and discover more of the world. A simple Google search results in a few flight schools in the area, so pick one and do it. I decided to take some lessons, and it turns out I did not like the part where we learned what to do if the engine stalls at 14,000 feet. "Don't worry," the instructor said, "the plane will do a nose dive but we will pull out and be fine." He was right: We pulled out of the dive, and the same day I pulled out of my flight lessons just after I changed my pants. Now I'm back to someone flying my plane for me. (It sounds fancier then saying "I look for deals on coach," right?) I suggest signing up for Airfare Watchdog's alerts out of SRQ because they send you flight specials every week. It's simple to sign up and our friends at Be Creative (the geniuses responsible for the "Do You SRQ" campaign) will be super happy you are leveraging the awesome local asset of an airport.
2) Volunteer --- "Waiting for the fish to bite ..."
Why volunteer? Because it give you perspective and it makes you feel good. Sarasota is filled to the brim with non-profits, so it's easy to get your feet wet in just about any issue you desire. Although all our lovely non-profits would love to have you volunteer, I'd suggest going to Mote Marine Laboratory to start with. The perks at Mote? You get to help sea turtles and dolphins. You also get to learn about our ecosystem which gives you a mightier perspective of where we live. I think seeing the overall community around us makes us connect to each other through something bigger than ourselves. Plus, if your lucky you can help a little guy like this make his way to the sea. (Thanks, Jimmy Scott, Jr., for the video.)
3) Community Theater --- "Waiting ... for a pot to boil, or a Better Break ..."
We have three community theaters (Players Theater, Manatee Players, Venice Theater) in the area, so pick one and audition. I can't sing. I can't dance. I've not acted in 15 years. What does that mean to you? Well, I've done all three on stage in Sarasota and was not booed off, so I know you can do it. Community theaters offer something for everyone from costume making to set design to acting and directing. The whole concept of community theater is not to put on a Broadway performance, but to simply enjoy the time you have with other people. You work as a team to create something, and then it's over just as quick as it started. The people you'll meet will become part of your family for a quick six weeks and then it's over. Plus, when you close your eyes during the curtain call, you can pretend you're on Broadway. You never know ... you could be frickin' amazing, a talent scout could see you and you just may be put on a new track in life.
4) Continued Education --- "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes."
Even as an adult I get anxious in August because school's about to start back after the summer. I hated having to go to school every day, and I find it ironic that as an adult I suddenly like classes. There are zillions in our area and we can take one almost any day of the year. Do you want art classes at Ringling? What about film at the State College of Florida? Do you want to learn a different language? How about three? You can do all of them. Want to know the best part? No one will punish you if you get a C. Hell, you won't even get punished if you get an F because you are there at your own will. You don't have to even show up and your parents will never know! Y'all think about how awesome that is!! I'm now a serial class taker, and you know what? When you start taking classes you discover things about yourself you never knew.
5) Sailing lessons --- "Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!"
If I told you to close your eyes and think of a happy place, I'd bet most of you would think of tropical waters, an umbrella drink and sand under your toes. Right? OK, that's where you currently live, so let's one-up it, okay? Take sailing lessons and go explore everything it will bring you. I heard that one of the first classes is knot-tying, and if you read Fifty Shades of Grey, then you know that can come in super handy too. If you are more like me and would rather be the guy lying on the front of the boat while one of my friends sails, I'd suggest calling the Sarasota Sailing Charter. That way you can still have your boat drinks without the responsibility.