By Larry Feinstein

IMG_0280No, I am not going to share a bizarre story with you about getting my hair cut, immediately followed by a life changing decision that I have been holding close for years.

However, I did have enough hair removed to easily overflow a pillowcase. The shearing was well timed because I have been thinking a lot about taking chances and making changes, hair removal being in the realm of the less significant.

In thumb wrestling with those two ideas, I was arguing with myself about which comes first. You could decide to make a change, but you are still faced with having to take the chance. It always comes down to doing something without ever being certain of outcome. All we really know is change because nothing can possibly stay the same from one moment to the next.

I have definitely taken chances, some big and millions of little ones. I know after spending 40 years in New York City, my move from there to Santa Fe, New Mexico was gigantic and very poorly researched. After an adventurous 15 years, I flew off to Kaua‘i without a well-planned descent. In both instances, I felt very strong connections and there was no trepidation at all, but I was clueless about each place before falling into them.

All chances taken never automatically go as planned. There is some argument for my being a happy idiot, having no idea what awaited me at the end of my cross country drive to northern New Mexico, or down below from my window seat on the one way flight to Kaua‘i.

Even when a big one has gone wrong, it has ended up being right. After 10 years on Kaua‘i, I decided it was time for another one of those seemingly precipitous moves. The target destination was Costa Rica, a place I was a little familiar with, having visited a number of times when I was in the nature tourism business. I actually did some planning, a break from my earlier form. I rented a house on the Nicoya Peninsula, where I planned to live. After a few weeks, I was feeling seriously relaxed, pushing me into the move.

You can’t cheat change and it wasn’t until I gave away virtually everything I owned and moved to Costa Rica, several months after my reconnaissance, that I actually realized what I had done.

Until you are living the change, you’re floating in the safety of a chance yet to be taken. I loved the idea of getting away from here, and it was necessary for me to commit to leaving and I sure did. It only took a few days for me to book another one-way ticket, this one back to my home, Kaua‘i.

Little changes and chances occur at an infinite pace everyday. I am now uncomfortable when I see Elana, who used to cut my hair because I just stopped going, without any explanation. I swear the drama of changing hair cutters was one of the reasons I buzz cut my hair for years. This last time it happened, I promised myself the next time I would initiate conversation with her.

For the moment, the crown of attention has to be awarded to my upcoming solo motorcycle ride in mid-September. I have 14 stops in 16 days, starting and finishing in San Francisco. I will be on two lane roads, winding through mountain passes at elevations of 9,000 feet and higher. My ride is now a Harley Davidson Street Glide, nearly twice the size of my own. Conversation will be a big factor on the ride, providing added dimension for my shared stories. Avoiding interaction out of shyness or discomfort will take away from my experience. There will be no hair cutter syndrome on this ride.

Taking chances and making changes are what my upcoming ride is about and that’s really why it is on my mind at the moment. Hope you can stick around to see how it all turns out.