I recently watched the final episode of Prison Break. It is the only television show that has captured my interest for four years, not that that means anything when you can rent the DVDs and watch an entire season in a matter of days—without commercial interruptions. But convenience has its price. The show lost its edge after the first season when back-to-back viewing exposed plot redundancy—making me almost want a commercial break. It’s not their fault, the writers; they blew their load as soon as their butt cheeks hit the sheets, excited and eager to impress. I just wanted something else to look forward to, especially having knowledge of their potential. In the final hour, they resurrected the excitement of the first season when things were fresh, unpredictable, and thought provoking.
For a solid week, I thought about my four year relationship with Prison Break, and about the theme of the final hurrah: things are not as they seem.
If you’ve ever read the book Illusions by Richard Bach, or watched What the Bleep: Down the Rabbit Hole, or have any experience around or as a magician, you are familiar with this concept. Numerous circumstances in my own life have proven that things are not always as they seem. Situations rarely manifest the outcome I expected or sought. In the pursuit of one treasure, another unexpected gem turns up.
A two-week rafting trip in Alaska, for instance, serves as a significant example. I embarked on that particular trip to get chummy with Art Wolfe, a famous wildlife photographer. He offered me an internship that I dropped shortly after we returned to Seattle. The trip’s actual geode was a ride to the riverhead in a small twin engine aircraft, an experience that prompted my aviation career.
Even now, in the midst of acting out a profession that took years to acquire, I wonder if it really is the point. Perhaps the career merely ignited a system of placement, like a string of events that saves you from reaching the scene of an accident at the time of impact. Perhaps the real treasure has yet to be discovered. Just maybe, at age 36, this isn’t the end … but the beginning of something wonderfully fulfilling.
Please join the conversation in the comments section below by sharing a situation(s) in your life that has gifted unexpected treasure.