There’s something about packing up my belongings to move that stirs in me a desire to hit the road, stop at little hole-in-the-wall restaurants and make conversation with folks at gas stations. I’m sure my parents could explain it — or at least give a few stories of how I’ve been like this since I was a kid — but I’m not sure I even care to have a reason for why I’m the way I am. I have a healthy sense of adventure and it’s what makes life so thrilling and full. (I have hypothesis, though, that it’s my dad’s happy-go-lucky attitude paired with my mom’s practicality that I’ve inherited that keep me floating yet grounded.)
As I write tonight, I’m surrounded by boxes (full, empty and broken down), packing paper, tape, recycling, a giveaway bag and a complete mess. Despite — or perhaps because of — it all my mind keeps wandering to the thought that I need to get out of town. I don’t necessarily need to be moving across the country again, but that’s the norm that’s been drilled into my head when I move.
This current move is local, just down the street, actually. By my past moving standards this one is dinky. I want to start piling things in my car and drive it up the hill to the new place, not pile it in the corner of the living room and wait for the moving truck to arrive on Monday evening to drive it up the hill. I’m impatient. Packing is reserved for moving long distances.
So I battle my mind screaming at me to get out of town, strike out on the road, have an adventure! And reason calmly saying that this move is an adventure. It’s the first time I’ll be moving into a real apartment complex. There will be neighbors to become friends with, a fitness center to conquer, a pool to relax near and management to avoid (just kidding!).
It’s a perspective shift that I’m trying to come to grips with so that I don’t find myself constantly bouncing around the country my entire life. Adventure is in the big and little things. It’s not just moving to a new city and testing yourself to see how well you adapt to starting over.
Adventure is meeting a friend for late-night coffee and conversation, then sitting outside the shop an hour after its closed and you’re both cold and tired. It’s hiking alone on a trail with signs at the start warning you about the wildlife. (I will NOT do that again.) It’s spending a day downtown by yourself exploring a new part of the city. It’s hanging out with a new friend and her kids, giving her a chance to be “real” and yourself permission to be authentic. It’s offering your free time for a non-profit that will stretch you beyond what you think you can handle.
Every day is an adventure if I decide to live it that way.