I’m craving adventure.
I go on Facebook, and my newsfeed is filled with pictures of friends all over the world, of beautiful nature, iconic structures, and radiant joy. Statuses about booking flights and concerts and tours, moving somewhere new, travelling for weeks, heading up to a cabin overnight, or going for a hike out in the mountains.
And I sit on my couch, looking at these pictures, hearing this news, and try to convince myself to cook lunch, even though it’s 4pm.
It’s almost amusing, that my desire for something new and exciting seems to grow at a pace directly related to my listlessness.
This week began as I battled the worst days of a cold. Just a normal cold, but for me it meant that my body was weakened and my other symptoms came out to play.
So I didn’t search out activities. I tried to attend my essential appointments, and use the rest of my time to recover.
And it would be nice to say that this cold, this flare of symptoms, was the reason that I sat for hours, convincing myself to do the most basic tasks. And maybe it was, at least in part.
But I have had flares before. And usually, the one thing that gets me through, is thinking about what I want to do. Pushing for my dreams. Coming up with endless lists of short and long term goals and feeling that burst of energy, of excitement, that comes with having motivation.
Yet this week, as I looked at my friends’ pictures, as I tried to come up with my own lists, I felt no inspiration. I merely felt frustrated.
Yes, I want to travel. But I can barely handle a 5 hour flight – how am I supposed to make it over an ocean? And if I do manage to get somewhere, where can I sleep when I require a firm mattress raised on a 4 inch tilt to keep my joints in place and my blood pressure steady? How can I handle the time change? How can I handle a different climate when my body is struggling so much to adjust to the temperature here, where I’ve been living for a month? And after all of that, how much will I even enjoy the trip, how much will I be able to see and do, with my severely limited energy?
These questions have plagued me, and as I try to address them, I slip more and more into a sense of apathy. After all, everything is hard. So much harder than it was. So is it really worth it to put so much effort into organizing something that I will then have to struggle through? Will there be any crumbs left for me to enjoy?
And then I come full circle, sitting on the couch with no motivation to stir me, nothing to look forwards to, to work towards.
But then, yesterday, I went for a walk with my dad. Just a walk. It was a beautiful day, and I thought it would be too hot, but he promised that we’d stick to the shade.
As it turned out, there was no shade. But there were lots of stairs. And again I was worried. Worried that the walk would turn into a disaster, that it would ravage my precious store of energy.
But it was such a beautiful day. And then we saw a beaver. Right up close. And later, we saw a bear, lumbering quickly across the road.
We had an adventure. And it was exhausting. Afterwards I had to sit down for a while. But it was wonderful. I’m so glad that we went.
And it was unexpected, unplanned as all the best adventures are.
I’ve spent so long carefully rationing my limited resources, being constantly afraid of making a mistake that could send my body into a flare. And that’s important.
But maybe I’ve gotten too careful. After all, my flares are not even moderately within my own control. They will come, and I have learned to cope with them. But maybe my carefully hoarded physical strength is not the only thing that can nourish me through the roller coaster.
Maybe it’s not about energy lost, but memories and experiences gained. Maybe it’s about going ahead, responsibly, but forging ahead nonetheless and creating adventures.
Maybe it’s about living.