Today my son asked me, “Mom, what’s an adventure?” His hazel (or diesel as he calls them) eyes looked up at me from his seat on the Baby Bjorn toddler toilet. His star studded potty chart was taped behind him on the wall. We often have deep talks here in the bathroom.
“Well, adventure is...” I stopped and found myself at a loss for words. “It’s something you do that is exciting and maybe a little bit scary,” I ventured. “But mostly exciting,” I went on.
“Wow, I really have no idea,” I thought to myself. I realized that I had begun to think of “adventure” as just a optimist's buzzword for a really difficult situation that you have to slough through in this life. I was surprised by my own cynicism. Where did that little kid go who dreamed only of adventure?
I think I began to create this stereotype of the adventurer that I just couldn’t live up to. I had these misconceptions that I made into rules and now as I sit and think of the adventures I’ve known personally and through books, blogs and friends I find my preconceptions to be lies.
So here they are, 5 misconceptions I subconsciously held about adventurers:
- Adventurers can’t watch TV. Somewhere along the line I noticed that a sedentary life is not usually conducive to adventuring and twisted that observation into a law. If you choose to watch TV you are sacrificing any opportunities to have adventures and all your creative juices will be sucked from your brain.
- Adventurers can’t have kids. I used to have nightmares of trying to get my sisters out of some movie theater or abandoned warehouse and I knew I could get away if I just didn’t have to worry about them too. So, I began to think that if you are responsible for someone it is to risky to go on adventures.
- Adventurers don’t have normal jobs. Yes, Indiana Jones was a professor but in general I had this feeling that adventurers just spent their time traipsing from one adventure to the next.
- Adventurers don’t get to experience the thrill of excitement and joy without the depths of despair ever bringing them down. It just seems like if and when you are depressed, anxious or fearful adventures are completely out of the question.
- Adventurers don’t need sleep, in fact they thrive on 4-5 hours a night.
So once I had effectively eliminated myself from this category, slowly coming to grips with the fact that I am not exactly “at my best” when I have only gotten a few hours of sleep, and that I do in fact like watching TV...not to mention that I have kids and a “normal” job...oh, and of course, I have nagging doubts and despair. Having discovered all this about myself I cut ties with my desire for adventure.
But the list above is one of untruths. Adventurers can be anyone...me, you, the least expected person in the world. So as the travelocity gnome would say, “Go and Smell the Roses.”