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  • Writer's pictureShannon Wilson

Every story has a beginning

About a year ago, a friend suggested I begin a blog. I considered it for about 1 minute and quickly laughed it off. What would I have to write about? What would I even share? I promptly forgot about it. A year later, a year of reading her blog (she updates it almost weekly), a year of life finally feeling normal again after the COVID 19 worldwide pandemic, the idea is still there. So why not explore the idea and see where it goes.

For me, I have always enjoyed three main things: Disney — movies, parks, characters; reading — mostly young adult fiction (occupational hazard) and a few other genres; traveling — around my city, state, country, and world. Keeping these joys in mind, an idea was born: Explore: Moments of Endless Possibilities. Merrium-Webster defines the word explore in three distinct ways.

1. To investigate, study, or analyze.

This definition of explore impacts my life daily, mostly through books. Since I am a middle school teacher, I read a lot of middle grades and young adult fiction. A book I recently finished and highly recommend for any middle school classroom is Wink by Rob Harrell. In this book, the main character is diagnosed with eye cancer. Therefore, he has to undergo chemo-therapy along with the daily drama of simply being a middle school student. On top of this one of his best friends disappears after he shares his diagnosis. As a middle school teacher, I am constantly searching for books to provide mirrors and windows to other cultures and problems for my students. Harrell delivers with this book. He intertwines the normalness of middle school with the harsh reality of a person fighting for their sight against cancer with humor. It is Harrel’s humor and the main character’s use of comics through the adventures of Batpig that makes this book relatable and insightful.

To expand my reading repertoire, I also have plans to join a couple of book clubs. I am looking forward to exploring different genres as a result.

2. To travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery.

Making memories and stamps in my passport has always been more important than stuff. When I graduated high school, my favorite gift was a three week vacation through Europe with my second mom. It was a trip of celebration as I got to experience England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland.

More recently, however, I just returned from an extended weekend on the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. While staying in an all inclusive resort did not show me the true side of Mexico, I did get to partake of authentic Mexican food and a wide variety of fruity beach drinks.

3. To examine especially for diagnostic purposes.

When I first bought my current house, I decided I wanted to remodel the downstairs bathroom … myself. After tackling the easy things — painting, curtains, light switches, changing the mirror — I had to face the more complicated items. I began with swapping out the light above the mirror. I hung and rewired the new light. Finally, I decided to change out the faucet. This wasn’t as challenging as the light, but it certainly took more muscle to unscrew the old faucet. This third definition of explore applies to my life the least of the three, but overall, it does have a place.

Life is full of moments. Life is full of decisions. The decision to explore Colorado through running in the summer of 2020 as our state was just beginning to reopen after the pandemic shut down led me to a race with the Colorado Brewery Running series in September. It was at this race, a rare one at a cidery instead of a brewery, where I met the friend who would suggest this blog. As I continue to choose to explore and embrace each definition of the word, I will see where this blog takes me. Want to join me for the journey? What’s your favorite way to explore?

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