Well, this was certainly an eventful week. I spent the last few days in a sort of “corporate retreat” (minus the “corporate” part, for various reasons), doing all sorts of activities that I normally wouldn’t touch with a 30-foot pole. Said activities included quite a LOT of “teamwork” and “reflection” and “talking about feelings and shit”. This is assuredly NOT something that I enjoy, and it was made somewhat worse by the fact that there were quite a lot of drunken Indians (and Hispanics – let’s not forget that crapulous lot) to deal with, on the way there, while we were there, and on the way back (though they weren’t nearly as bad by then – everyone was just about plumb tuckered out).
All of my kvetching aside, though, it was actually quite good fun. I was able to take part in various activities that I have never done before, or have not partaken of in many years.
Among these included: ascending up a VERY steep climbing wall in a harness and ropes; engaging in a massive orienteering and scavenger hunting exercise across a good couple of kliometres’ worth of land under time pressure; manning the oars in a proper whaling boat; and descending down a 15-metre zipline with about 4-7 metres of ground clearance along the way.
Essentially, I was given a chance to push myself WAY out of my comfort zone – and said lack of comfort was really brought home by the amazingly inhospitable weather. I was up in a staggeringly beautiful part of the country, with plenty of time to sit back and reflect on how things have gone for me over the last few years.
This is an opportunity that few of us really ever get. The reality is that most of us don’t often have much of a chance to take out our souls, turn them over, figure out how they look, and put them back in again – while still under the pressure and demands of a major group activity.
So my advice to you is that, when you get such a chance, grab onto it with both hands. And force yourself to go along, even if you really, REALLY don’t want to – which I didn’t.
I’ve had to kick my own arse a number of times, very hard, over the past few years, into doing things that I really didn’t want to do, mostly because other people wanted me to do those things. A younger version of myself would likely have refused and dug my heels in, never backing down and always doing what was comfortable for me.
But, as I get older, I’ve had to learn a few hard lessons along the way about what life is really all about. And the truth is that it’s NOT about us, individually, and what we want. While that is important, it is not as important as what we are being prepared for. And that is often diametrically opposed to what we want and seek for ourselves.
There is a Power working on all of us. We Christians call Him, “Lord”. God works on us in ways that we usually will really dislike, to prepare us for things that He, and He alone, needs us to do. And the process of preparation for those trials is rarely fun and NEVER easy.
But, when God calls, you’d damned well better listen. Take it from someone who ignored the call for YEARS, and has paid a VERY heavy price for it. From what I’ve seen, He has a lot of patience for idiots – I sure as shit wouldn’t be here otherwise – but He doesn’t take too kindly to those who spurn the opportunities that He places in front of them to serve Him, and thereby serve and seek Truth.
So, when opportunities come up that look uncomfortable, or difficult, or dangerous, and you aren’t sure whether it’s worth taking the risk – give it a shot, especially if you are going to be working in an environment with people that are kind of in the same boat as you, and who are your peers. They’re facing the same fears, insecurities, issues, and problems as you are. But, in most cases, unlike you, they aren’t going to be believers in something greater and bigger than themselves.
At any rate, that’s what I learned from the last few days of pretending, very badly and not at all realistically, to be Rambo. (We didn’t even get to shoot any guns. In America, guns are considered entirely legal and right to own and use. In this country, which is populated almost entirely by giant pansies, they are neither of those things.) Take my advice as you will, but remember: comfort makes you weak, and challenges make you strong.
But enough of such deep thoughts. It’s Friday night, and if you’re like me, you’ve already had at least two drinks and are eyeing a few more with the expectation of a proper night’s good sleep. And since it is, in fact, Friday, we all know what that means – a beautiful lady to get us all in the right frame of mind for the weekend.
Her name is Oriola Marashi, age 25 from Tirana, Albania. Judging by what I’ve seen, she’s something of an up-and-coming “it-girl” in the modelling world. Since I have no interest in that world beyond the merely superficial (quite literally), I have no clue what that means. There is no denying, however, that she has a spectacular figure – rather like a lot of Albanian women that I’ve seen, actually. I am not quite sure why, but they do seem to be a bit different from their Slavic cousins over in Russia in this regard. Russian women tend to be thin with big hips, but Albanian women tend to be curvy without being fat. It’s hard to explain the difference, but if you were to park one of our Russian Instathots next to this one below, you’d figure it out instantly.
Happy Friday, gents. The posts should resume a more-or-less normal schedule now that I’m back, which means I hope to have a proper podcast and other posts up over the next few days. Enjoy the weekend, stay safe, stay sane, and keep the faith.