The “A” Word

We always talk about adventure as being this wonderful, soul-quenching feeling that fills your heart with joy and wonder.

This week, I graduated from university. My next “adventure” will be moving down to Birmingham, Alabama, living with strangers, and working with one of the most well-known magazines in the South. We call it an adventure when it’s something new, exciting or unusual. What about the other end of change?

It’s so easy to say you want to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. On paper, it sounds great. We look up to people who travel around and move to new places. In reality, it’s not fun. It’s scary, it makes your stomach hurt and it makes you really uncomfortable. I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious in my life.

On my graduation cap, I wrote, “Not all who wander are lost.” On one hand, this is very true in my life. Wandering – whether in spirit or adventure – sounds exciting. It is something that brings experience, growth and character. It enriches your cultural awareness and allows you to meet new people. What it doesn’t say, however, is, “Most who wander are terrified.”

A friend of mine recently pulled this type of “adventure” and moved out to the West Coast alone. When I asked her how she did it, her advice was to not be afraid to do things alone. She said that it will certainly be uncomfortable, but you have to explore alone, not be afraid to talk to strangers (sorry, Mom!) and go places by yourself. I imagine myself sitting at Sunday Brunch for one. We will see.