The Trouble With Adventure

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I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

I don’t know what kind of job I want, where I want to live, how I want to spend my money, what church I want to go to, what my dreams are, or if I really want that tattoo.

Sometimes this uncertainty is really exciting. It makes me feel like I’m getting the True Post-Grad Experience: Constantly on the verge of a full mental breakdown. And it comforts me to know I am like most people my age who are wondering who they are now that no one is grading their homework and they don’t have an easy way to run into their crush via their class schedule.

But I do know this: I want an adventure. And I want it NOW.

I want to rescue elephants on a preserve in Thailand. I want to be that Hollywood director’s assistant. I want to be the poorly paid intern at Saturday Night Live. I want to live on a sheep farm in New Zealand. I want to work at that one-room school in Uganda. And when I’m done I want to come back with my own stories to tell.

But I wonder, is my desire to strike out on my own really selfish of me?

I have been blessed with the most amazing group of friends. They are like family to me. We thrive in a community because we live together and live life together. They plan on remaining in the same place for a little while. So is my desire to discover life on my own for a bit synonymous with turning my back on people who love me and want me around? 

And why do I crave this kind of adventure anyway? Is my desire for adventure about chasing wanderlust or is it about proving myself? Because I think it takes a lot more guts to stick to life-giving relationships rather than validating your independence.

I am glad for this adventurous ache.

Wanting adventure and wanting to see the world is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a very, very good thing. My question is, why do I want adventure?

10 replies »

  1. You’re struggling with an Odyseus style dilemma. Once you leave home, it will not be the same when you return. Its up to you on whether or not to stick a stake in the eye of a cyclopse. Life is all about experience, so get as much life in while you can. Nice post and good luck!

  2. I think the reason why we crave adventure so much is a constant longing for something new. A constant longing to learn, and see, and discover, and know. There’s a yearning for being certain about the uncertain. It goes along with contentment. Sometimes we go on adventures to find that it was not what was expected…it wasn’t as awesome as we thought. My friend studied abroad for a full year. After telling me about how she traveled and studied all across western Europe, I just kept saying, “Wow that is so cool.” But her second semester in Ireland was actually terrible. While trying to enter the country she almost got sent back home because she didn’t have her admissions letter to Trinity and didn’t have her visa. So her ambitious, “I’m just gonna go and study in Ireland” Almost backfired because she wasn’t prepared. I’ve always admired you Julia. For reasons unending. I love your thirst for adventure and my advice is go…go on adventures. Feed your mind and soul with the beauty of the world. And be prepared for whatever it may through at you. You can always come home. Because those people love you and will support you with whatever you so choose, and will open their arms willingly if you choose to come running back. And maybe that self growth you find on those lone adventures will actually benefit your relationships when you come back. Because those adventures will help you to become a better person, which will inevitably bless your friendships further.

    Gotta risk it to get the biscuit…as some say. And if you don’t get the biscuit you can always turn back and get the less appealing but still delicious baked good.

    • Courtney: Your words are a blessing to me. Thank you for encouraging me and sharing your own beautiful wisdom. I love the idea that lone adventures will actually work to better my friendships. Also, risking it to get the biscuit is just rad.

  3. It’s like you’re saying all the things I thought about two years ago. How I want to want all those things again.

    • Well in that case, I hope you find your own version of an adventure to want! Even if that adventure is as simple as initiating a conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop or learning how to crochet (maybe you know how to crochet – I certainly don’t and me trying would definitely count as an adventure).

  4. Remember Julia, every experience you have and every person you meet are all a part of the person you are becoming for Jesus. And He wastes nothing, ever. Whether you choose to go off on lone adventures or not, make sure that it is not fear that holds you back. When you’re young is the time to take the plunge! Whatever your plunge may be. 🙂

  5. True that! I think our desire for an adventure varies. What you’re craving for isn’t selfish of you. I can relate to how you’re feeling in a way, and although I have yet to do more, my fair share of previous wanderlust has made me contemplate if that was being selfish of me or not. But then I realized, it is different for each of us. Sometimes, wandering away teaches us more about the world and more about ourselves and it gives us that sense of fulfillment, while for others (atleast in my life), they prefer to stay back and develop+nurture their homes and communities.

    • So true, Kattrinna! I would definitely agree it depends on the person. This is simply my current perspective and the journey I’m not. My best friend who’s going to Ireland, for example, may have a different perspective and insight at this point. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Julia,

    I know how you feel. I’ve been fighting and wrestling with it for the past four years. All I can tell you is that, whatever you decide to do in life- God is there with you. You will not recognize him most if the time, but he is there. You’ll look back and see the magic of a moment or a time gone by and know that God was in it. You will feel the absolute joy it brings when you do recognize his glory in the present. I can promise you this: he will never give up on you. So be confident, follow your heart, and be glad. I believe in you, and I’m only one, sinful man. Jesus believes in you so much more than I or anyone else could, and he is the God of the universe! You’ll do well Julia. I know that you will. Keep hold of that Magic!

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