Monday, September 4, 2017

Ready for an Adventure?

Marr Branch Haunted House

“Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination. It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way.” ~ Emma Chase

Sitting in the car, I watch the miles pass by while I reflect on the past few hours. Quietly, I ask myself, "Why?" It's interesting how both driving and taking hot showers immediately sends me into a deep spiral of thought. Maybe it's the white noise created by the tires on the pavement or the falling water pooling in the bottom of the tub, but whatever the cause I'm again asking the question, "Why does she let me take her on these crazy, dangerous, scary, and often different adventures?"

On this particular day, Brandi and I met with the owners and cast members of the Marr Branch Haunted House. We learned just a few weeks prior that the Marr Branch family was preparing to unlock the doors of the "most intense haunted attraction around" and we wanted to be apart of it.

You may recall that our first visit to the haunted house was back in October 2016 where we recorded our experience from the safety of our car. We were sweating and out of breath, but we had so much fun going through it and then reliving it repeatedly in stories. Even now, we joke about what each one was doing while going through the place. Most recently, the characters themselves joined the conversation by recalling our hair raising and blood chilling responses. They claim that I was so scared that I ran all the way through the house, swamp, and corn maze. In hindsight, there may be some truth to their recollections, but my manly ego won't allow me to admit much more than that. (Laughing)  

Chasing Firsts

When I think about all the things we've done together, I have to admit that many of them were presented with the question, "Have you ever done this before?" If the answer is, "No," then I find myself even more eager to do it. It's as if we're creating new memories by chasing first time experiences with one another. I don't know if within the annals of relationship wisdom there is a secret sauce, but I think creating memories together has to be one of them. What better way to strengthen a couple's bond than to to go through exciting, scary, fun, and memorable moments together. 

Outside of a relationship, I think chasing firsts is good for the individual as well. Think about your average day and the routines we build our lives on. Yes, we go to work, attend school, raise our families, and worship in church each week. Routine and habits are good, they are the magic behind successful achievement, but I clearly see the value of adding spice, variety, and a potpourri of experiences to this journey we call "life." 

As we go into this day, I would encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone. Do something that scares you, excites you, and awakens within you a passion to live each day with zest. It is within these moments that we create those lasting memories, challenge ourselves to be greater than we are, and unleash the youthful awe and wonder that has been with us our entire lives. Happiness is a choice precipitated by embracing the moment knowing full well that we control nothing beyond our ourselves.

Make a decision to try something new, expand your comfort zone, and remain open to the vast colors, sounds, and experiences this world has waiting for you.

Now, let's get to the business of living. Have a great day!

Bonus Videos

As I wrote this entry, I couldn't help but think about all of the crazy and amazing things we've done together. Below are just a few things that come to mind captured in video:

Additional Note

In case you missed it, Brandi and I are excited about being a part of the Marr Branch Haunted House cast this year. While we're not sure what characters we will play, know that we plan on bringing the heat this Halloween season (evil laugh). Once tickets go on sale, make sure to get yours before they sell out. Be sure to follow their Facebook page to stay up-to-date as opening night begins September 29 and 30, 2017. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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