It’s easy to think sometimes when we say we are going on an adventure, it means we are about to embark on the most exciting and enjoyable time of our lives. But that’s not always true and that is not what adventure means. By definition, a true adventure is one that involves both risk and the elements of the unknown. No one says “I’m going to the grocery store to get eggs, and it’s going to be an adventure!” Why? Because there is no risk involved in buying eggs (unless your clumsy) and there is very little room to experience the unknown.
No, a true adventure is one that requires a step out of the familiar, the comfortable, and requires you to take some level of risk. It should be scary. It should make you consider if you are making the right choice. And you should be hesitant. That’s part of it. That’s normal. Whether that means moving across the country for a new job, getting married, having a kid, buying a home, climbing a mountain, living out of your car… etc. If your “adventure” doesn’t make you question what will happen further down the road, and is not a little scary, you might reconsider what you define an adventure.
Eight months ago, when I decided to start this new chapter of my life of living out of #hotelprius, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no idea what the road ahead looked like and thus, no way to really prepare fully. But I pushed forward, I embraced the unknown, and went in with the believe that this adventure of mine, would not always be fun, comfortable or exciting, and it certainly would not always be awesome.
This week, those expectations and that reality hit hard. Life happened! In the short span of only a week, I’ve moved across the country for a job that didn’t work out, ended a two and a half year relationship with my best friend, had my bike stolen from off my car, broke my phone, lost my sunglasses, and was in a moped crash, all while trying to navigate through decisions and choices in a new city by myself. Needless to say, it’s has not been fun or comfortable and has been very difficult to sift through and process. Now, I’ve always considered myself to be pretty resourceful and fairly resilient, and this isn’t the first time the life has taken a few slugs. But this week, the bangs and bruises of life’s blows have really left me feeling sore and a little disheartened. Needless to say, not every adventure is as awesome as you might hope it to be.
If I have any advise to pass along it would be this:
It’s important to have realistic expectations of resist the impulse to fantasize about any adventure, just so you are better ready when these times and these seasons come. Because they will come and and will most often come in waves. During this time, it’s important to stay positive and thankful for the things and experiences you do have. It’s important to do your very best not to dwell on the people and events that have hurt you. It’s important to feel and process these emotions and feeling as they come, and try not to ignore or save for later in the mindset that it will be easier later. It won’t be and it only makes it worse. Do yourself a favor – Allow yourself time to grief, to be sad, to be angry, to feel hurt, to feel pain, or whatever else you may be feeling or experiencing and then do your best to remind yourself of who you are, what’s most important in your life, and focus on the person you want to be. Do you want these small trivial experiences to be the reasons you slow down or give up? Do you want to look back on your life 20 years from now and regret what you should’ve done. I hope not. The truth is, experiences like these can be very, very difficult. But at the same time these experiences can be opportunities. I want you to see these times and brief moments in the timeline of your life to either be stepping stones or stumbling blocks in your personal growth. You need to know, you have options. By choosing to dwell or blame or ignore, or hate, either yourself or others, is only going to trip you up and slow you down in becoming the strong and beautiful you, you were meant to be. Instead use these hard and difficult moments as stepping stones. Moments to learn and grow from. Moments that absolutely have the power to shape you and launch you forward to the future person you will become.
Lastly, try to see life as a story! In every good story these is a character that wants something and has to overcome certain challenges to get it. No good story is complete without a little risk, without a little discomfort, and without a little challenge and adventure!
Not every adventure is awesome! But you are!
So to my fellow adventurers,
just keep climbing!