Odd term, that. Adventure Junkie. It implies an addiction to adventure, an inability to resist danger and ever-increasing challenges. Until what? What happens when we seek outside ourselves for the ultimate stimulation? Doesn’t that sound familiar as the root of any other addiction? A stimulation to alter our focus away from mediocrity, boredom, unmet expectations?
We’re all addicted to something at some time. People, places, desserts, credit cards, YouTube, running (or running away, as the case may be); and of course the old standards – take your pick – food, alcohol, drugs, sex. We climb mountains, run triathlons, dance in front of strangers, cram for an exam, travel the world to notch our social standing … anything to add another thrill and keep us in the game.
That’s what some folks suggest life is, you know. A game. Even what we collect or keep as proof to ourselves that we exist becomes goal worthy. Another photo with another celebrity, another trophy to collect dust and fade from current-day focus, another something we don’t need, but the hunt is the adrenaline adventure we won’t live without. To have the most or be the best, the brightest, the tallest, the richest – anything but to Be. Simply: Be.
Life can be lived like a game. That takes courage. Sometimes, in a game, I lose. I don’t like to lose.
But if I don’t see life as a game, what happens when, inevitably, I do lose? The difference in perspective is the difference between a shrug and a laugh, followed by a do-over, of course, or a rough ride down the river of resilience without a rowboat, which was flung far out into a forested backyard, where it rests upside-down collecting sun rays and bird glances. I know. I’ve nearly drowned in those dismal currents a hundred times, because it took me a long while to accept the game idea and try it as an alternative to failed adventure seeking.
I still screw up. A lot! (You wouldn’t believe how huge….) Furthermore, I cheat. (It’s a game, right?) I lose my cool, act a fool, throw in the towel, temper tantrum my way eventually back to square one. Each day is a new opportunity, a new game. Every week, every year, every minute at those important junctions of living.
What’s interesting is the connection between adventure and what’s outside ourselves. All adventures take us out. Take us somewhere else. It took me what feels like forever to figure out that
the real adventure lies within. That’s why we don’t do it too often. It’s scarier than a Funhouse! Be still. Try that! Notice your surroundings through senses other than sight. Hear with your heart. Smell with your memory. Dive deep, then deeper yet, below where you think you know. Enter uncharted territory, the many levels, and recognize how the rules of the game changes depending on how your personal machinery hums along; how in-tune you are with your instrument; the you you suppress and hide and run away from, afraid anyone should know the real whole you. That’s adventure. That, my friends, is the penultimate position to find yourself suddenly in.
If you get down deep, you’ll never feel as high. Be an adventure junkie. Your stash will be unbridled joy won in the game of life. Do you enjoy jumping from a plane and having a free-fall? Go for it.
I’ll take the plunge and fall inside myself, meditating until I finally fly high and free. Don’t worry, I’ll be back for the boat in the yard.
Lori Nelson is an author, speaker, educator, and international “edu-tainer” aboard cruise ships. She occasionally blogs at anotherloristory.blogspot.com. Find Lori on Facebook. Torture:
Broken Foot, Shattered Soul, is available on Amazon, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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