The closing post for Adventure Week! Hopefully I’ve gotten it out of my system, and can return to reality refreshed and restored (love me some alliteration). Probably not completely though. Because hello, my name is Natalie, and I’m an adventuraholic with too big of an imagination for my own good.
I’m starting to see that I may be an adventure junkie. This is very useful; I’m working some things out on this blog. Cheaper than therapy, and all my readers get to feel totally normal for five minutes. Everybody wins here. I’m doing this for humanity.
Back when Mike and I were dating, long ago and far away, we would have very penetrating philosophical conversations about what we wanted from life, starting with a lot of traveling and ending with three children and more travel. In these fantasies we constructed I would be forever waif-like and he would be constantly bringing home flowers. Oh, young love.
The very first thing I told him I wanted out of life was adventure. Yes, I actually said that as we sat on the restaurant patio sipping coffee, discussing our hopes and dreams. I did not want to be stuck in a place where I did the same boring things day in and day out for all eternity. I did not want to work in a cubicle [insert ironic smirk here]. Really, I didn’t want to be involved in any kind of corporate life. I wanted to do something meaningful to me, something interesting, something utilizing my God-given talents, which do not include anything conventional or useful, unfortunately. Like, oh, I don’t know, spreadsheets, for instance…
I also did not want to ever live in a tract house in suburbia. It’s just not for me. It would be a suffocating death for a misfit drowning in a sea of sameness and that dreaded state of normalcy society so espouses. In case you were wondering, normalcy for women (defined by me) is shopping at the Safeway every Monday and eating out at Chili’s every Friday night and getting drunk at PTA meetings. In such company I would be the token neighborhood black sheep burning sage, painting my shutters aubergine and saying inappropriate things at dinner parties. Totally sober. The square-peg-round-hole paradox personified.
[Sidebar: Not that I would ever judge anyone for defining themselves as normal. You're all awesome. HAVEN'T YOU YET LEARNED I DON'T JUDGE? ESPECIALLY IN VIEW OF MY LIFE CHOICES?? I just have never felt like I fit in, and I've pretended to my whole life instead of just being me. And now this is becoming a Lifetime Channel narrative and I'm going to stop it right here because that's not good for anyone.]
Thus, the tract neighborhood has come to represent the personification of evil for me, the very opposite of the adventuresome life I’d pledged to live (see how it all ties together? and you thought I wasn’t making a point, ye of little faith). So what did I want? I think my unformed vision of what life would look like included frequent trips to Turkey, Thailand, South America, and the entirety of Western Europe (I’d save the Eastern Bloc for my retirement years). Or even better, living abroad in one of these locales, smoking hookah and carrying a gun and a camera whenever I ventured out, the pinnacle of adventuresome living in my way-too imaginative mind.
I am now seeing that I should have been a writer for National Geographic. If only they would return my frequent inquiries.
So that’s how I want you to picture me, reader. Sipping Turkish coffee in a developing country, pecking away at my laptop to the sound of bullets and grenade launches outside of my hostel. Or wrapped in a mosquito net writing on a legal pad from the depths of the Costa Rican rain forest, praying the anti-malarials work. Doing good things for the sake of the world.
Not typing on my aging computer in front of the heavily laboring fan, drinking my morning coffee and dreading going to sit in my cubicle tomorrow morning.
If I crave this sort of lifestyle so much, why have I set myself up in a way that totally contradicts this? Aren’t I responsible for my life choices? Ah, trust me, I am on board with this thinking – to a point. But hear me out:
The only explanation I can offer is that life does not always go your way. Trust me, I have tried to force it many times. I make plans, I pursue them, but God in his infinite wisdom and humor has his own ideas that often interfere with mine and I kick and scream against them the whole way. I would not have chosen many things about my life – having depression, being an alcoholic, a predisposition to contract strange illnesses, being overly sensitive, loving chocolate to an unhealthy degree. But this has shaped who I am becoming in so many complex ways that I can’t be unhappy with the situations that ultimately make me who I am. I just can’t. Because I like who I am, oddities and all. Honestly, why would I want to change the circumstances that led me to the supreme gift of falling in love with such a wonderful man, and the blessing of finally having enough self-confidence to write, consequences be damned?
The art of being happy where I am is elusive, but I do my best.
I dream. I try. It’s all I can do.
That, and live vicariously through adventure shows until my ship comes in and National Geographic FINALLY returns one of my many emails! They don’t know what they’re missing…
At least we don’t live in a tract house. Take that, universe!
Thank you for
humoring me participating in Adventure Week! I had a lot of fun, and why have a blog if you aren’t going to have fun once in awhile?