I am 18 days into one hell of a grand adventure. Actually, life has been an adventure since I quit my job in May and kicked off planning this wild and crazy cross country road trip, but that’s just semantics.
In the past two and a half weeks I’ve…
- Driven/riden shotgun for almost 2000 magnificent miles
- Woken up to find a bug in my sleeping bag
- Seen the most extraordinary cliff to ocean views
- Run out of water in the shower before I got to rinse
- Savored a terrific day frolicking in the Pacific Ocean
- Spent a night terrified that the wind would blow the tent over
- Learned to appreciate access to your own private shower, toilet, and sink (OMG, does that sink have hand soap right there too…because that might be heaven)
It’s been awe-inspiring and joyful. It’s also been frustrating and draining. But even a third of the way into this trip, I’ve caught onto the biggest lesson I needed to learn.
I needed to fall back in punch drunk love with big, bold adventures.
I don’t know when it happened, but sometime in the past two years, I started striving for comfortable. Translation – minimize uncertainty and maximize doing what I knew would make me content. I stopped seeking out new experiences and stuck to the routine of normal life.
Yup, I got boring.
Worse than that, I got okay with being boring. I wanted boring. I wanted to build my life on boring.
This road trip has drawn it all into sharp perspective. Comfortable may sound nice in theory, but for me, I feel like the best version of myself when I seek out experiences where I can be bold and daring. I may need a nudge (or a shove) into the uncertainty pool, but once I’m in the water, I always remember how to swim. It’s just like muscle memory, my brain just knows what to do.
What does this mean when I’m no longer trekking across the country without knowing the exact where/when/how details of where we’re going to end up once we get to North Carolina?
Well, first off, it means actively seeking out more travel. Before this road trip, I was convinced that airports were pretty much the worst thing ever, and that if I could just stay within a couple hours of home that would be perfect.
Um, thank you Boring KP for trying to avoid TSA, turbulence anxiety, and crappy airplane food. But, that’s a worthwhile trade for being immersed in new cultures and having to learn a brand new city from scratch.
It also means throwing out the safe goals. The sell an okay amount books and settle in an okay home in the suburbs goals.
Screw that. I don’t want to settle for good and comfortable. I want to be scared of my big dreams. I want to be radiate excitement as I stare them down, knowing that I have no idea in the beginning of how I’ll make them happen.
I am so incredibly fortunate that comfortable is within my grasp. I have gratitude coming out of my ears for that good fortune – for my country of birth, my opportunities, my education, my support.
But, just because it’s within my grasp doesn’t mean I can stop reaching. Taking what’s easy isn’t just boring, it’s depressing.
If we run into each other at the grocery store, I sure as hell want to have something interesting to saw when you ask, “what’s new.”
Here’s to making that happen. So long comfortable and boring. I’m giving you up for uncertain and exciting.