first posted in 2009
I remember when I was a little kid, and like most kids I loved to explore, to venture into unknown areas, to discover new things and try to learn how they worked; that is until Mama or Daddy slapped my hands to keep me from harming myself. That adventurous spirit continued into my teenage years sometimes leading me to take chances, some reckless, some not so, depending upon the influence of my friends. I would venture into places where I didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately, no harm resulted. As a young adult, the first big chance I took was when I moved away from family and friends and across the country to a state where I didn’t know anyone and did not have a job waiting. I had saved a little money to tide me over for a few weeks until I could find a place to stay and employment. (Jobs in those days were plentiful.) Somehow I managed to survive, but as time went by, responsibilities and obligations set in. And with those obligations and responsibilities came fear leaving me little time to think about much less follow any adventurous nature.
Many older people have traveled down the same road. In our youth, with no obligations or responsibilities hindering us from following the call of the wild except maybe family pressures, we take chances. Then, as we become adults, our fears change and in some instances grow. Not the childhood fears of the bogyman or the teenage fears of not fitting in, but adult fears that spring from the need to support a family, to find a job that satisfies, to raise our children to be loving, responsible adults, to make enough money not just to get by but not to have to worry about paying bills.
With so much to consider, it’s no wonder our spirit for adventure becomes buried. When those responsibilities have been met, the children grown, and we settle down to enjoy our mature years, sometimes another fear invades our senses. We want to explore but we feel we must know the outcome before we venture out of our comfort zone. The need to think ahead gets in the way of answering that call to adventure. By adventure, I don’t mean doing something dangerous or life-threatening. I mean finding that spark that you had when you were younger, trusting in your judgment and following your heart. What do you have to lose? There is nothing sadder than regrets; wishing you had done something, but had let the opportunity go by. Keep in mind that life is fuller and more rewarding when we step out of our comfort zone.