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Lessons from the Darkness

On a recent trip to Europe we had the novel adventure of doing an escape room in complete darkness. After doing so many escape rooms, the novel gets more and more exciting (and a bit scary as well!) Going into the room we weren’t sure what to expect – an escape room in total darkness? What is that even like? Are we going to feel our way around a single room for an hour and try to manipulate shape-like puzzles? Were we surprised when we found out what it entailed! We found ourselves climbing through ropes, climbing up a rock wall, scooting through tunnels, smelling weird smells, sliding into a foam bit, and having to climb up into more tunnels.

While this would be one of the best escape rooms we have been in, primarily due to its originality, it taught us many lessons on managing our emotions and our perceptions. Our first lesson of this experience involved how perception can affect our experiences. We weren’t quite sure what to expect; however, we did have some ideas, and they were blown away once we got in there. These expectations affected our sense of time (it felt like we were in there for hours) because we kept finding new tunnels and rooms and since we couldn’t see what was ahead of us, we didn’t know how much farther we needed to travel.

The other main lesson we learned was managing our emotions in a seemingly critical situation. There were times when we were crawling through a tunnel which suddenly became blocked (mild panic attack); others when it became sweltering (evidently we were crawling through a volcano); and yet again, when the tunnel starting getting smaller and then even smaller (queue second mild panic attack). The main lesson to bring back to life is this: trust, persist through the discomfort, and keep moving forward – even if you can’t see the path in front of you. You’ll know what you need to know when you need to know it.

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