Everyone erupts with laughter as we all realize that three of the cards on the table each have a different type of bird written on them, and the boys’ team has to decide which bird my dad wants them to guess. Not surprisingly, it took them two tries to get it right, but given the choice of duck, robin, and hawk, I would have gone with the hawk, too. Since they needed an extra turn to figure out the correct answer was robin, the girls’ team was able to take the lead and win by guessing all of our “Code Names” first.
From Sesame Street Uno, to months of Star Wars Monopoly in middle school, to Clue, Nertz, Bananagrams, and so many more, games have always been integral to my family. Our current obsession is Avalon, and if you ever want to see us lie to each other or argue intensely, come play a round. My head spins in circles as we puzzle out the twisted logic of who’s on the good and bad teams. Who is telling the truth as we all protest desperately that we are “loyal servants of Arthur, who are absolutely clueless with respect to anyone else’s loyalty”? You would think we’d have everyone’s lying ability figured out by now, but each game is as mysterious as the next as the roles are shuffled and our strategy shifts as we learn to play the our newly assigned characters. We have the autonomy to portray ourselves however we want but are powerless to shift our identities and objectives.
Learning to play both sides of the game forces me to step out of my comfort zone and keeps me from falling too much into my creature-of-habit setting. As the debate continues and facts unravel, the information presented leads me to second guess my certainty and encourages me to keep my mind open to the possibility that not everything may be as it seems.
As I start my second year at my job, it could be so easy to slide into a pattern and pretend that I have it all figured out. After all, I now have the ability to string five acronyms together into a logical sentence that anyone else in my unit would understand in an instant. However, technology likes to break, schedules fall apart, and people change their minds, leaving me to wonder what new adventure each day will bring as I wander into my cube and log on to my computer. With each question I ask and each new piece of information I uncover, I have a greater appreciation for how little of the world I actually know. And I’m learning the joy of discovering it one fragment at a time.
Whether it’s exploring a new hiking trail (after first walking alongside the edge of a cliff because you’re confident it actually is the trail), figuring out the betting strategy in a new card game, trying a new unlimited brunch spot, or switching up the type of bread for my made-to-order Sheetz sandwich (the best place to stop for food on a road trip), even the tiniest alterations to my routine teach me something new. The changes might be forced upon me and might not even be something I would have chosen myself, but they are teaching me to adjust my expectations and learn to play with the hand I have.
“We don’t know where we’re going, but we’re on the run. We don’t know where the road ends, but we’re having fun.”—“Twenty-Somethings” by Judah & the Lion