Who dare aqua jog alone?

It’s hard to expect adventure endorsement for something seemingly common place.  But it is in daily undertakings that adventure potential is often wrought.  With that let’s hand craft DNA and protein kits out of thousands of tiny  lego pieces, after which we’ll superglue them together for 4 hours!

I can’t imagine that’s a standard Friday for most, but working for MIT, it curves toward the normal.  Adventure could be found in the construction of the activity.  I had to join a group of unknowns for meet and greet games, a luncheon and the aforementioned 4 hours of community service activity.It should be noted that I am almost 30 and signed up for this.  I shouldn’t be so introverted and awkward.  I should be able to have a working lunch without feeling the fear, dread and panic that small talk often breeds in me.  The easy thing to do would be not to.  I didn’t have to go.  The billed, “Day of Service” actually had to be approved by my boss.  But I wanted to help.  I wanted to meet other people that wanted to help.  I truly wanted to feel like something I did in my everyday professional life amounted to something more than money and administrative arguments (see: I am a financial administrator). 

And wouldn’t you know, there was truly nothing to fear.  NOTHING.  It helps that MIT is an environment that attracts passionate people.  By passionate I mean to suggest people who are intensely interested in their line of work.  Often these people are focus.  So focused that they may exhibit tendencies similar to mine – introversion, reluctance to make a move, small-talk aversion.  This is a generalization, but one that is comforting to me.  Because it just so happened that my foray into professional meet and greets was well accepted.  People were anxious to serve and seemed duly dedicated to the task at hand. 

I met an Institute retiree, Betty Davis (her actual name) that chatted me up for hours.  Each word I spoke served to relax me more and come the end of our service task I knew Betty’s favorite books, had a standing date to go water jogging with her at the community pool and was regaled with stories of her tenure at MIT. 

I found that once I stopped worrying what people thought of me I had time to focus on what I thought of people.  To learn from them, better understand them, and best yet, befriend them. 

This was no great breakthrough for me.  I’ve been making active strides to be less hidden, especially in the campaign of 2010, but it’s good to again get out on the ledge.  Because sometimes, the view changes.