Bring Back Adventure
When I was a kid, I spent the majority of my time outside. I would zoom down the gravelly street in front of my house in a pair of kickass rollerblades. I’d “borrow” my dad’s video camcorder and patrol the streets, or film my cat wandering the neighborhood. One summer, I was reckless enough to wiggle my way through a hole in a fence that led into a creepy little forest. My friend and I scavenged the area finding broken bottles, clothing, boards of wood, and all sorts of random detritus. We’d return with a backpack stocked with magazines, drinks, towels to sit on, and snack food. As we ventured deeper into this area, we crafted stories about who once inhabited it. It was our clubhouse. We wanted to discover its secrets.
As a 27-year-old woman, I often miss my childhood sense of adventure. The older I get, the more appealing it is to take the easy route. I’ll go to the same bars, stick to the usual weekend routine, and stay safe in my comfort zone. Let me come clean about a fact I know about myself: I am prone to anxiety when hit with a huge life change. Many of us experience this chronic uneasiness when situations surrounding us shift. I started this year in a rocky place. I lost my job, and a stagnant, stuck-in-quicksand feeling feeling permeated my every thought and move.
Whether we like it or not, life never follows a steady course. To combat anxiety and feel better about this shitty circumstance, I gave myself a task. Bring back adventure. I love to learn and travel. To explore and take risks. Now, in this age of information overload and constant attention to digital media, it is more important than ever to break free from the shackles tying me to my phone. I’ve let go of my child-like sensibility, and I want it back. Sure, I don’t always have the funds to travel to a new destination, or the time to embark on a new creative journey… But now more than ever, I am filled with a desire to reverse time. Forget age twenty-seven, let me remember age seven.
How did I view life? Was I constantly worried about what people thought of me? Was I jittering with nerves thinking about when my next paycheck was coming through? Did I compare myself to friends “more successful” than me? The answer is no. Can I go back to being seven-years-old? Well, no. With an extra twenty years of life, comes a towering stack of responsibilities, always teetering towards toppling over and burying me beneath. Is it possible to bring back a childhood mindset and adapt it to adulthood? The answer is yes.
It’s time to bring back a sense of adventure. Life will continue to move up, down, and forward. It will never move backward. . . unless I take my past and carry it with me in a positive way.
Every year, I attempt what my friends and I have deemed the “museum and culture challenge.” We try to go to one museum or cultural event per month. I am finally on track with this goal in 2019! So far, I’ve been to the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Hall of Science, and the Museum of the City of New York. That’s definitely more museums in 2019 alone than I’ve been to in the last two years (#CultureGoals). It’s satisfying and grounding to focus on fun goals to achieve, aside from regular adulting and career goals that carry more pressure. Consider this the field trips of adulthood. We all deserve to transport our brains back to the stress-free field trips of adolescence. Explore your neighborhood. Take chances.
Outings can sometimes be pricey, so when I’m trying to conserve funds, I schedule myself a playtime. Okay, maybe that sounds a bit sexual. I’m not talking about that type of me time (though, please don’t deny yourself that either). I’m referring to the time I dedicate to something playful and silly. No guilting myself allowed! If I have a writing deadline while the sun is out, I schedule time to hop on my pink longboard at a local park. This gives me something to look forward to while I’m getting work done, and it’s damn fun to make a fool of myself while improving my longboarding skills.
I have never let my inner child die. I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd--just look at my bed set, luggage set, dedicated shrine; I play The Sims like it’s my job--my friends will tell you that I talk about my Sims like they’re real people; I need to have chocolate dumped on my buttered popcorn when I’m seeing a movie at the theater; I may or may not still have my baby blanket tucked somewhere amongst my throw pillows.
Don’t hide childish quirks. They make you weird, unique, and you. Let yourself be curious and silly. Now, close your eyes. Pretend you’re a kid again, and bring back adventure.