Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventure Is Out There!

By Julie Baldwin

This one's for the independent gal, wondering where her life is going - wondering what's she's doing, and if she's missing something, and where her time is truly going.

Adventure is out there! And you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are not intended to stand still, unless it is to feel the breeze or catch the rain. You are never "stuck" - and if you find yourself waiting, use the time well.

10. Read a book.

What is more precious than developing your mind? Catch up on old favorites (Ella Enchanted, anyone?) and new finds. Move away from the laptop and your phone, and just fall into the coziness of reading (or listening to books on tape, if that is better!).

9. Drink and be merry! 

Sometimes, a good beer can just hit the spot. Or chilled red wine with dinner - divine. Even better - visit a winery, or a brewery, or a distillery, if that's more your flavor. Take a friend (or family member), sign up for a tour, and enjoy yourself.

8. Find purpose in your work.

Why are you working in that job? It is one thing to make money (which is a very important); it is another thing to find joy. Yes, there are hard days, and there will be worse days, but what makes you keep at it? What makes you tick? How do you feel after doing a good job? Do you need more feedback? Are you open to criticism? Talk to your boss; be on the same page so that you can be the best member of the team possible.

7. Keep up with friends.

In this age of technology, do more than a "what's up?" text. Keep them updated on your life via e-mail, handwritten letter or phone call, and be just as earnest to talk about their life. Be open to friends not being close to you any more, and open to finding new friends as well. There are so many people on this adventure - stick to the ones who stick to you.

6. Explore possibilities.

As an introvert, it can be very daunting to try new things, but very rewarding as well. I took tennis lessons when I was younger and enjoyed them, but never got particularly good as my family plays for kicks and giggles. After college, since I am never going to play lacrosse again, or soccer seriously, I decided it was time for a new venture. I took lessons at our swim club, and lo and behold! I was not the worst or the best! And I made a few tennis buddies of my own.

The biggest hardship for many people is remembering that, more likely than not, people are interested in making friends. You will not click with everyone, and having a good conversation does not mean you're destined to be BFFs-forever-and-ever, but as Rudyard Kipling says,  "One man in a thousand, Solomon says,/ Will stick more close than a brother./ And it's worth while seeking him half your days/ If you find him before the other." Take a genuine interest in other people; it'll be nice to step outside yourself for a while.

5. Accept second-best and pursue your passions.

If you want to learn how to knit, do it because you want to, not because you must create the perfect hat on the first try. If you want to learn to fish, you might not catch any fish the first few times. If you go canoeing or kayaking, you may tip over. If you learn calligraphy, it might look like you got drunk with a fancy pen. And that's okay. Do what you love, or think you're going to love - why wait?

4. Travel!

This is the best part of the adventure - going on your own. Traveling is not limited to outside the country, either; there are so many beautiful places in America, even if you go an hour away to a big state park for a picnic lunch and a short hike - what a trip! Outside the country is great as well, but is a different sort of adventure, complete with higher expenses, a possible different language barrier, and less spontaneity.

Of course, if your co-traveler speaks the language... even better!
I also highly recommend traveling with a loved one, both family and friend. The memories you'll make are irreplaceable!

3. Be content.

There is no one made like you, and your challenges are unique. They are hard, and they are going to flavor your life in their own way. But don't let them overwhelm you! Everything can be conquered: poverty, poor self-image, sadness, lack of direction. Be kind to yourself, wonderful you! You're

2. Be brave.

Keep the door open for change! Take a job that isn't your dream job, write on your blog, go out with someone who isn't "perfect", volunteer, speak your mind, respect others, and be open to whatever comes your way -- especially if it's not part of "the plan"! Sometimes, those detours are the most fun.

(Hat tip to my sister, who sent me this video - and cheers to one of the bravest people I know!)

1. Keep it loose, keep it tight.

Amos Lee sings, "But sometimes,/ We forget what we got,/ Who we are./ Oh who are are not./ I think we gotta chance,/ To make it right."

Don't forget who you are, dear reader. Don't get caught up in other people's passions or problems. Don't let another person's dark cloud find its way over your head. Don't let Pintrest make you feel inadequate. Don't let another person's happiness take away from your own. We're all on a different journey, and yours is amazing.

Any more ideas for adventures, dear readers?

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