Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 91 Ocean View, WA 99393. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.
The original newspaper advertisement seeking a partner for time traveling was written by John Silveira and published as filler in the September/October 1997 issue of Backwoods Home Magazine.
In the 2012 movie, “Safety Not Guaranteed”, a jerky reporter and two interns go an assignment to find and profile the person behind the ad. As it turns out, each have an ulterior motive for accepting the assignment: 1) to go back and see something cool; 2) to go back and prevent the death of a loved one; and 3) to travel down the path not chosen with a former love.
The idea of time travel speaks to all of us for it suggests a chance to alter your path by making a different choice. It is a fantasy in which we can pick that one moment in time when we would do something different. A moment we regret or wish we could take back.
As we sat in the beautiful waterfront yard of Frank C.’s Marina House (and eventually his front room) on Wednesday morning, each of us stood up and talked about a path in life taken that was less traveled (inspired by the Robert Frost poem).
For some, it was a path in which the deviated from what was considered the norm, the right way. For others, it was a path that they were guided down as they were pushed off the current one they walked. A few, sadly, made choices as a means of survival and with little time to evaluate wants.
As a group, we shared stories about conquering our fears. Our tales involved that moment when you knew what was changing inside you would forever impact the direction you choose from this point forward. We heard tales of adventures in foreign lands or how meeting a group learning the ropes of public speaking put a positive spin on their world.
The path may have been rocky, full of doubt in trying something new. There may have even been a void of not knowing what would happen next, if they could even do it. But in all the stories there was a hidden thread of courage. Everyone found a strength inside themselves that they didn’t know they had.
The only thing we didn’t talk about was regret. We didn’t talk about the chance lost, the missed opportunity or that one place in time when we reached a fork in the road and choose poorly. Not even when the ending was far from positive.
It’s just a theory, but I don’t think any of us would have signed up to go on the time travel mission.
The truth of it is, in the end, there’s a reason that path, road was less traveled. It was waiting for just the right person to claim it as theirs. The road less traveled that each of us took — was the absolute perfect one. It made us the strong, unique, funny, witty, adventuresome, welcoming, open, loving and creative people we see in ourselves and others.
Thank you to all of you who shared their stories, their hearts.
A special thank you to Frank C. and his lovely wife, Julie, for hosting and catering such a lovely Toastmasters meeting. It was beautiful and the food was amazing. Thank you.
NEXT MEETING: Greg will be hosting the next meeting. The theme is the Pecha Kucha. Please watch your emails or visit Turbobase for additional details.