August 15, 2014


Before embarking on my second term with Ei — which took me to an Orthodox Christian monastery in the desert — Victor gave me three words to keep in mind as I ventured into the unknowns ahead.

One of those words was Enjoy.

It was a simple admonition, but one not easy to implement whilst navigating new relationships, challenges, and foreign environments – enjoyment can quickly become a casualty of all these unsettling factors.

Recently, however, I’ve taken Victor’s word to heart and allowed it to guide me into a number of wonderful experiences these last few months.

For example, let’s fast forward to my third and final term here in Fargo, ND, where I am working with a creative agency called Misfit, Inc. as their Wordsmith-in-Residence.

Misfits are notorious rabble-rousers. They work hard and play harder. In fact, it amazes me how productive they are given their love for Prosecco and dancing ‘till the wee hours of the morning. This company has taught me a thing or two about enjoyment.

So, while working one day, a coworker of mine mentioned the forthcoming National Hammock Day. He mentioned that he’d love to see people gathered around in a nearby park for the sole purpose of swaying between two trees.

At first, I laughed and then returned to my work. But then I thought about what a fun idea it was, and that it would actually be quite enjoyable.

With only three short months to work for our respective companies, us Ei students have to quickly decide how we’re going to add value, but also how we’re going to have fun in the communities where we find ourselves as temporary residents.

What became of my coworker’s comment is now a publicly loved endeavor called The Hammock Initiative. In less than 48 hours, we created an online presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; designed a logo; procured sponsorship with a hammock company; and even attracted the attention of local media.

I encourage you to watch the feature on WDAY Fargo News and listen to our radio interview on Prairie Public.

Then, this week, I was asked to take the stage at an entrepreneurial gathering called One Million Cups to share about the success of our chilled-out movement in front of approximately 200 businessmen and community leaders in Fargo. The crowd laughed, but ultimately loved the idea. It appears that enjoyment is contagious. I assured them that, though quite fun, this is a very serious movement that they should keep up with on Twitter. I’ll suggest you do the same: @HiFargo.

All of this happened because of an openness to having fun with what life was offering at the moment and stepping back far enough to realize that all of time is a gift to be enjoyed.

Best part of all, the radio broadcaster quoted one of my sarcastic tweets on the air, which read:

“A long time ago, before you were born, humans had to choose between unicorns and hammocks. That’s why unicorns no longer exist.

Enjoy this life. It’s the only one we’ve got.

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