Sometimes the best things in life come from total flukes. As someone lucky to live in a big city, I am always exposed to cool and interesting events going on around town. Boston was the kind of city that could be full of awesome adventures.
Sometimes adventure can fall into your lap in the weirdest of ways. It was a Saturday in late September. I hadn’t even lived in Boston a month. On a whim, I decided to head downtown for a sorely needed raincoat, maybe even a short stop in the Boston Common to read while it was still nice out. The last thing I expected walking out of the T station was an intense whiff of dead skunk. Looking around at the cloud of smoke hanging over green leaf tents, it didn’t take an idiot to figure it out: I had stumbled into Boston’s Hempfest.
I quickly scrapped reading to get out of there. Eventually, my curiosity (and my stomach) got the better of me. I found myself in line for Cookie Monstah’s ice cream sandwiches, chatting with some very nice, very chill festival attendees. Was this how I saw my day going? Definitely not. However, I walked away with a new raincoat, some delicious coffee Oreo ice cream and a weird story about how accidentally wandered into a pot festival. That story got a part two when I returned a year later to write my first ever news assignment. That story became a huge turning point in my writing career and sparked my love of journalism.
Sometimes being a little spontaneous can have long-lasting effects. Not long after my weird side venture at the Boston Common, I was enjoying a night in when a couple of girls from down the hall knocked on my door. They thought I seemed cool from our minimal interactions and invited me to a small party. Truth be told, I was kind of tired of hanging on my own. I had no real friends in Boston and figured why not, it’s part of the college experience. I said yes.
Two years later, I can barely recall that night. What I do remember is the amazing things that came from just saying yes. One night out led to years worth of great memories. We failed at ice skating together, split three dozen free cookies at four in the morning and decorated our entire common room with glowing dollar store baby heads for Halloween. Girls night out became girls night in to catch up and watch The Magic School Bus after a stressful week. When I needed advice on changing my major, they were the ones I turned to. We’ve seen each other through the highs and rock bottom lows of college. When I accepted an invitation from a group of virtual strangers, I never thought I’d end up in a friendship spanning four countries. Several years and a whole lot of misadventures later, I still consider them some of my closest friends in Boston and look forward to the many years to come.
The greatest misadventures stem from a combination of happy accidents, inconsequential ideas and the ability to just say, “what the heck, it’s worth a shot.” Friday the 13th started with a bummer. The Friday the 13th showing my friend and I wanted to attend was actually an hour outside Boston and neither of us had a car. She decided to stay home and do some work like a responsible person. I easily could have done the same. Instead, I decided to wander down to Fenway; the Who was playing that night and I wanted to try and listen in. After all, it was the closest this 20-year-old would ever get to watch such a legendary rock band.
I spent the better part of two hours leaning against the back wall of a bar. There were plenty of reasons for me to leave: it was late, security would kick me out any second, I could barely make out half of the songs. People came and went. I stuck around. A guy selling tourists Fenway shirts took pity and struck up a conversation. He felt bad for the lone college kid desperate enough to listen to the Who that she would stand in the cold for two hours. He left to greet a friend. He came back fifteen minutes later and handed me a single ticket. He said he had no idea if it would work, but it was mine if I wanted it.
I weighed my options. What would happen if I got busted? Would there be fines? Could I end up banned from Fenway Park? But then one last thought crossed my mind: when would I ever get another chance like this? I grabbed the ticket and ran as fast as my legs could carry me to the gate. Several minutes later, I found myself in Fenway Stadium screaming Baba O’Riley at the top of my lungs. I was only inside for the last fifteen minutes of the concert, but that moment will last a lifetime in my memories.
Spontaneity does not have to be something as huge as a funny story or sneaking into a concert. It might be finding something strange to treat yourself with, like the $9 Nightmare Before Christmas goblet I use for tea every night. Maybe it’s a sale on ribeye steaks and a chance to experiment with a new recipe. It could be finding a new go-to restaurant or cafe to hang out with friends.
We can never predict what kind of crazy things might happen to us. A good portion of the time, we make dumb decisions. Lord knows I have made plenty of idiotic life choices. Sure, we could try and plan every waking moment but where is the fun in that? All it does is cost you countless memories. When you make a stupid mistake, just chalk it up to a learning experience. The funniest stories aren’t always your shining moments. So go ahead, make that weird, spontaneous choice and see where it takes you. After all, life is just a series of mishaps and mayhem. We might as well choose our own adventure and hang on for whatever comes next.
Lead Image Credit: Mollie Hersh