"What will you do with your one wild and precious life?"
Mary Oliver's words rang through my ears as I sat on a rock close to my home in northern California. Hmmmm? What will I do with this life of mine? I found a piece of scrap paper, wrote DREAMS in the middle of it, and, with my colorful markers, filled the page with all of the ideas that had been running through my head.
The start of a new adventure
A month later, as I was scrolling through some work emails, the words Antarctica, Science Research, and Education caught my eye. These words were all on my dream list...I found a program that combined three of my dreams into one amazing adventure! I quickly sat down to fill out and submit an application for, what might become, one of the most incredible learning experiences of my life. Then, I waited and waited and waited some more. One December day I received fantastic news...I had an interview for the PolarTREC program! I could barely contain my excitement during my interview. When I found out I was accepted to head to Antarctica to study marine ectotherms (sea slugs, sea spiders, oh yeah!) under the ice I quickly said "YES!"
Taking the first step...or rather flight!
As I boarded the plane for orientation in Fairbanks, my heart was pounding with excitement and nervousness. How cold will it be there? Do I have enough warm clothes? Will I be able to learn and remember everything I need to know? What will the other teachers be like? As I flew over the snowy mountains my excitement grew. When I landed in Fairbanks, I saw the snow covered ground and met the other educators and PolarTREC staff. Their friendliness and openness made me feel calm and welcomed. The first day, filled with a whirlwind of information, sharing stories, and connecting with all of the amazing people in the program, is now over. The butterflies in my stomach have gone away and I'm pretty sure pursuing this dream is a great way to spend my one wild and precious life.
P.S. HAPPY 11TH BIRTHDAY TO MY NIECE ADDIE...one of my favorite nature explorers!