Dreams vs. Reality

Some would argue there are two kinds of people in the world.

There are those who walk a very straight, very narrow path in life; who do not stray, or get distracted; who do not waiver with uncertainty or decision. They are the play-it-safers. The rational thinkers. The responsibility wielders.

The second kind are those who do not stay on the path. They smile knowingly, with a mischievous glint in their eyes as they throw the rules out the door. They are the risk takers. The challenge risers. The dare to dreamers.

But what am I?

I am neither of those, and I am all of them. Thanks to my parents, I come from both. My kind is that often unspoken species. We are those who walk that thin line between the two.

That’s the trick of adventure, isn’t it? She’s illusive. To truly wander, to travel and experience, one must set aside many other things in exchange.

At 32, I’m at an age where throwing caution to the wind isn’t exactly as easy as, say, 23. Gone are the days I can call in sick when I’m not, or shrug off work because ‘it’s not a real job’. These are the days of bills. Of car payments, cell phones, auto insurance, health care, school loans, and 401Ks.

You know, Adulthood.

That crazy, intangible phenomenon we all are told about—hell we even witness as a child—but feel will never happen to us.

And let me just say simply for the sake of not loosing track in this story that I haven’t always taken the right steps towards Adulthood. But it’s here, whether I am prepared or not, so there you have it.

Of course, I have gotten stuck in the not so necessary. The luxury expenses, the ones you tell yourself aren’t that much money, but you don’t actually have to have in order to survive normal society. (And yes, I have lumped cell phones into the necessary-to-survive-category. I’m such a Millennial.)

So now, here I am, an Adult (so they say), but not really. Not truly. I’m 32, but I haven’t finished a degree (yet). I still live with my parents, and I don’t have much money saved up. What money I do have saved is pretty much going to school to finish that degree. I have all these places I’d like to go, and all these things I’d like to do. But on the other side, I also have so much left in Adulthood-land I need and want to do. Like get a place of my own or feel financially secure.

I should have been doing all these adventures when I was younger, when I had time and freedom to make mistakes. Time to do all the things that now I’m only just getting to.

Then there is the matter of my family. My mom is a unique creature. Don’t get me wrong, she can also be amazingly supportive, sacrifices a lot for everyone she loves, and works really hard for everyone but herself. But among some of the worst things I can do in her eyes is move out of New Jersey (say goodbye Utah, adiós Vancouver)—or do anything at all adventurous. So, while I’ll still do things, I kind of have to neglect to tell her a lot of the details.

But push all that aside for a moment. Because in the end, part of all that is shit. It’s easy to let the responsibilities and all that comes with Adulthood become the excuse.

I’m sure there are some people out there who would read this, and shake their heads. They would certainly push aside security for adventure. They wouldn’t let the opportunity to do something unknown, exciting, and fun pass them by. If that meant not knowing how much their paycheck was always going to be, or not being able to watch Netflix, so be it. If that meant one of their parents not always speaking to them, that would be fine. It’s your life, after all, isn’t it?

But that’s not me. That’s not how I function. My life isn’t just about me, and honestly, I don’t want it to be. As much as my mom can drive me crazy, I couldn’t be the person I am today without her. As much as I love the outdoors, love hiking, camping, and traveling, I don’t want to live an unsteady, unstable lifestyle in order to do those things.

There will always be a line I won’t cross. Something too dangerous, too unsure.

Those risk takers see the risks differently, because to them nothing is more important than that climb, or that wave, or that mountain. The risk is almost always worth it. And I watch in awe at their accomplishments and abilities. They inspire me.

But I don’t care about setting records, being a top athlete, or going where no one has gone before. I don’t need to reach the highest mountains, just so long as I am conquering mountains. Sure, I want to improve myself, but in the end I just want to have fun. For me fun isn’t the risk involved, it’s the entire experience. Just being there, doing whatever it is.

I’ve read the phrase Weekend Warriors before, and I’d like to think that’s currently my category. Just a girl, seeking to do somewhat adventurous things, whenever she can keep hold of an opportunity to do so. And while living this way might mean I’ll never see all the wonders in the world, I will always, always know and stay true to who I am.

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3 thoughts on “Dreams vs. Reality

  1. I very much relate to what you’ve written here, as I walk that thin line as well. I look out on the field of adulthood before me and do a double take; what the hell is all this? Everyone is different, and you’ve got to take the trip you’re on. For me, it came down to a conscious decision; did I want to live so that I could work a 9 to 5, or did I want to work a 9 to 5 so that I could live? I chose the latter, and haven’t regretted it. Even when I’m working, doing housework, or going grocery shopping, I think of myself as an adventurer. That’s what I am. I just have to take a break every now and then so I can pay rent is all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I’ve also experienced this long moment of time where I assumed that eventually I’d do things–hike, camp, backpack, etc.–but never found friends interested in doing many of them. So I came to the (probably too slow) conclusion I should just do them myself, instead of waiting forever. Thankfully, now we have things like Meet Up and Facebook Groups, etc. to help meet fellow adventurers, as well as organizations like REI, AMC and more where you can do group trips either to learn and experience, or for the company. Although I don’t mind going on my own, it’s always more fun with people!

      I don’t believe there are any rules to adventures, trying new things, exploring, or traveling. It’s just about what’s right for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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