When did life become less of an adventure and more like a ball of belly goo?
When did transitions make it harder to breathe than an asthma patient running?
When did trying something new lose its allure?
I once got on a plane to Cambodia. I once bought a one way ticket Boston to Idaho hoping my life worked out. I once got in a lion’s den to hug its baby cub. I once was full of life.
For someone who craves adventure, the temptation of steady life called too loud. A house, a car, a garden, the same group of friends for longer than a few months.
Don’t let people fool you, it’s nice.
In fact, it’s wonderful. People say the college life is ideal. I disagree. The young, single, middle class 20-something life is where it’s at.
Playing house, making coffee and breakfast, dressing up in office attire, coffee houses, bars, dancing until the wee hours, apple picking, ultimate freedom and financial security…
Who would even dream about giving that up?
Yet, we do, don’t we?
We want more adventure, exploration, excitement, danger. During my vagabond adventurous years, I couldn’t fathom why more people didn’t live like me.
“I wish I could do what you do. Oh, I’d die to do that! You’re so lucky.”
It went on and on. Well, you can. Anytime you want. Or so I thought.
Until now. The thrill seeker inside of me wanted to go big. It missed the long days of challenge and story making.
So, as I sublet my apartment and prepared to move away for three months. I got nervous. I felt more afraid than standing over the edge of the Victoria Falls Bridge.
I couldn’t breathe.
I hadn’t really given it all up. I was coming back. I was only subletting. This adventure, if you can call it, is merely a winter vacation. In Europe, these mini getaways were included in the stable life platter along with insurance and sick days.
So what was I afraid of? Nothing really. But I made a story.
The one thing keeping you from everything you’ve ever wanted is your perceived story.
This imaginary story of failure, wreckage and loneliness. It’s the same story that traps people into an unfulfilling 35 year career. It’s the one that provides you a list of regrets on your dying bed. You know it. It comes in many forms. It’s the one telling you you’ll luck out when asking for digits, you’ll never get that promotion, you’ll fail if you try, you’ll never be this or that.
There’s no guilt or shame in feeling comfortable. I too love my deep-rooted couch. But I don’t lay there forever do I?
At the end of the day, if it’s comfort you want, it’s comfort you’ll get. If you want the house, kids, car and posh corner office. You’ll get it. It doesn’t mean you can’t go on a mini-vacation.
It also doesn’t mean you can’t spend a month, a year, or a decade spending long days on a bumpy road stuffed in a truck with some lovely strangers and four chickens. After all, aren’t those the stories we want to share?
So the next time your story becomes too loud. Shut it up.
For the first time in my life, I felt so much compassion for the city dreamers living in a trapped nightmare. I understand you. The only thing that got me through that fear of change is the knowledge that the grass on the other side was better, greener.
As I made my way, pushing through the motions of change, packing, moving, getting a new passport, getting vaccines and visiting family, slowly and surely, the fear subsided and the excitement grew. Is there a large level of uncertain fear still coursing through my blood? Hell, yes. But now there’s something else too.
The knowledge that something magical is about to unfold. As the days draw nearer to my flight, I remember that I have never, not once, regretted any adventure or challenge I undertook.
Neither will you.
For those ready to take on something new in their life, start ritually reading those inspiring quotes on Pinterest.
Every minute of every day. You will be okay. It will be okay.
Actually, it will be so much better than okay.
Olga F’gold is a traveling vagabond goddess, who found a passionate full-time career in Boston. She keeps her soul smiling with her dedicated yoga practice, running away to the wilderness in her free time, and practicing gratitude. She loves finding things to climb, people to hug, and harnessing her inner domesticated side.
Ed: Brianna B.