January 30, 2014

In Search of Another Adventure

We leave for the sake of leaving, without knowing why, we must go.

I don’t remember the exact place that I first heard those words, although I am fairly positive that they are part of the cultural monologue in France. France, Epcot, Disney World…if you would like the exact address.

No one seemed to understand how I felt when I moved back to Oklahoma. After experiencing 6 months of non stop adventure, intense emotions, friendship, heartache, and challenges... I felt like it was obnoxious to talk about everything that I had been through so frequently. As a freshman, I was “supposed” to be wide eyed and na├»ve, anxious to experience college with the same preconceived notions that everyone else was supposed to have. I was supposed to be excited, cheering for our teams, getting homesick during the week, and missing my mom’s food.

That’s what I was supposed to be…and that is what I was not.

I was jaded, cautious of relationships because I had seen too much brokenness in Orlando. I was tired of being underestimated, because I had just proved so much to myself, and no one seemed to recognize how big of a deal it was to me. I was homesick, homesick for long hours at work, fireworks every night, adventures every weekend, and friends behind every door.

When you get caught between who you think you are supposed to be and who you really are, you don’t go anywhere.

You get stuck.

I was stuck for a long time at SNU. Stuck because I let myself be stuck. Stuck because I longed for an adventure that I had already completed and I would never experience again.

Stuck because I thought I longed for more adventures, when in reality, I was longing to go back to the one adventure that proved so much to myself.

You never get that first adventure back.

You can never grasp something that has already been completed.

It has taken me coming to Belize to realize how much I have held on to that defining experience in my life, and how many of us feel the same way, although we pretend that we are alone in our discontent.

We all have that defining adventure. Some people have stories that are more elaborate, but in the end, we all have that one place where we really grew up.

Mine was apartment 1309, my sister’s was Vienna, and for my friends, the locations range from SNU to Swaziland.

The stories are different. The experiences are different. It is so easy to alienate yourself and think that your story is somehow more significant than everybody else’s.

It’s not…and it is. Your story is unique and valuable and precious because it is yours. However, you cannot discount someone else’s story because it is theirs and it is different then yours.

Now that I am here in Belize, I am realizing that the story keeps going. I have known this for a long time, I have embraced new things and I moved on from my past adventure a long time ago. It’s just…once again, I am finding myself in a “Defining Moment” of my life…and I am jumping back three years ago to my first day on the clock at Disney World.

I was scared then… just like I am scared now.

I was not prepared then… just like I am not prepared now.

I was under qualified then … and that hasn’t changed much.

I was expecting big things in Florida … just like I am expecting life-altering things here in Belize.

Belize is the beginning of a new phase. It is slightly intimidating and there is a lot of hard work in front of us, but it is beautiful and fearsome and wonderful to imagine.

We leave for the sake of leaving, without knowing why, we must go.

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