Whenever I am bored, I always wish things were more exciting.
But when things get exciting, it never really seems to be the kind of exciting adventure that I was hoping for.
You’d think I’d learn.
I had someone tell me once that I liked classic adventure, like Indiana Jones, that I like the idea of challenge, but didn’t actually like going out of my comfort zone. I think they were off base (and given that I was told this by someone thirteen years ago and I’m still miffed about it… either they were more off base than I thought then, or they were closer to the mark. Maybe a little of both. I think I’ve taken their remark as a challenge, to do what they said I didn’t know how to do, and have taken on more things that stretch me, simply to prove them wrong.)
I love the idea of adventure.
I celebrate the adventurous things I have done: whitewater rafting the headwaters of the Nile, serving as a Volunteer with Peace Corps Kenya, giving birth to two children without medication or medical intervention, hiking four days on the Appalachian Trail with four days notice, trying all the new recipes that I continue to find, marching in DC, Charlotte, and Raleigh…
These are good adventures. Not all of them were as picture perfect as I’d imagined, but they were good bucket list items.
And then there are the hidden adventures: raising two girls to love themselves in a world that tells them to judge their bodies, serving churches that have traditional and normative expectations when I don’t fit into the box (at one point, actually gesticulated to me by a woman on an elevator who was simply surprised to learn that I existed), discovering how to live into a marriage where we see the world differently and how to look together at the ways that we want to learn about the world, and the itinerancy system.
And then there are the adventures that throw our lives into massive new experiences: the itinerancy system, parenting, pandemics, storms, and other challenges. These are adventures that define us by how we respond to them. They are the big ones, the ones that change the landscape of our lives. And even though I’d rather tell you the story of how I rafted the Nile, I think I am a more interesting person because of how I meet the challenges of these new adventures.
I’m definitely not bored, now.