I am going to jump around my memory banks for a while until I find my groove. I make reference in my earlier post to the origins of my interest in East Asia. I will likely return to my times in Japan as recollections re-emerge. For the moment, however, I will fast forward to my final days of college.
Somewhere I acquired a deep-seated yearning to know what I was made of. I wanted to test my mettle. I first recall feeling as I prepared to graduate from college. I found myself with a recurring daydream that I might parachute myself into the middle of the Amazon jungle with minimal supplies (a la chewing gum and a fish hook), and then challenge myself to bushwhack my way out.
In the end, I got cold feet and let the sense that I should start generating income rather than incurring academic debt pull me away from this plan. By what seemed then as complete chance, I received and accepted an offer to work at General Motors instead. What might have happened had I declined the offer? Might I have gone to the actual Amazon? Might I have travelled to China or Taiwan to round out my East Asian expertise? I’ll never know.
In later years while in the crucible of a figurative startup “jungle”, this untended desire to test my mettle reappeared to shape my endurance in difficult circumstances.