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1: an unlucky event or occurrence 

2: a bad experience or accident that is usually minor

Life is a series of misadventures. The stories we tell afterwards, we call adventures. It is the failures, adversities and mishaps that are the notes, musically speaking, that make the ballads of these stories. The setbacks in our endeavors, weather, illness, fear, error, and bad luck, add to our growth and make us what we are. It is the flaws and imperfections that make experiences and beauty unique and noteworthy.

Don’t come back unless you have seen or done something extraordinary

Imagine if you could do everything perfectly every time, if everyone and everything looked the epitome of perfection —there would be no reason to take notice, no challenges, nothing special to see. Marilyn Monroe would have no mole on her face, giraffes would certainly have more manageable and proportionate necks, and the words challenge, difficult, and failure would be erased from the dictionary.

Each day we struggle with the ordinary —without notice time passes. Embrace the failures, don’t accept them. See what others do not, and recognize that all creatures are beautiful, even the naked mole-rat and the platypus. We are surrounded by the extraordinary, see it, touch it, feel it. Watch your favorite camera lens bounce down two flights of stairs, embrace the icy rain as you hurtle down a flood swollen river in the Darien jungle, accept standing on an open ledge, 300 feet above Yosemite valley in a lightning storm while carrying 20 pounds of metal climbing gear. See the unique qualities of each situation, person or creature, and notice the differences of each event or circumstance. Be aware that all difficulties reward you with a new strength and perspective, a tale to tell, and most importantly something extraordinary to share.

The art of seeing and experiencing the world and all of its imperfections is embracing the missteps of life —the misadventures.

A Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) stare down, Belize.


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