Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Adventures of a 20-Something Year Old.

I hate adventure sports and rides at amusement parks and fast cars.

If the average friend, acquaintance, colleague or distant cousin were to describe me, they would say I was safe. Not a risk-taker. Not adventurous at all.

But what is adventure really? What are risks? And aren't the emotional risks you take far more dangerous than the physical ones?

For one, the emotional risks are NOT temporary. 5 minutes on a Banana Boat come and go and before you know it, it's all over. The jerks, the pace, the splash of the waves as they hit you, the way your heart surges when the tube topples, and WHAM - you're done. You're back on the beach, laughing.

But when you decide to throw away a 6-year relationship with a perfectly decent man, who you instinctively know is the one person on the planet who will adore you for the rest of your life, no.matter.what. - just because you want someone more exciting. Someone you feel more attracted to. Someone you're passionate about - even though you KNOW that one day all that is going to fade away. That's risky.

When you're ready to give up stability for 'butterflies'. When you're ready to barter the known and safe for the unknown and potentially dangerous. When you're ready to take the biggest risk of all - that of being alone. Now that's a roller-coaster. Not meant for the faint-hearted.

Photo Credit
One's career is also similar. When you think what you're doing is what you want to do. When it suddenly strikes you that maybe it's not. When you're ready to trade your job for your peace of mind. When you prepare yourself mentally to cut back in every way - because you're taking a break, you're taking a sebbatical, you're tearing yourself away from an environment as dependent on you as the earth is on the sun.

When you're giving up the tried and tested for a black hole of uncertainty. It's like bungee jumping. 99% you'll live to tell the tale. But there's always that 1% where it'll be YOUR rope that snaps.

And it seems like a restless spirit, always in search of more, turns life into one big risk, with sharp turns, corners, slopes, turnabouts, upside downs and jumps - where your heart is always in your mouth and your head is always spinning and you're simply wondering which risk you're willing to take next.

But I hate adventure sports...and rides at amusement parks...and fast cars.