I came across this picture on my tumblr dashboard today and the truth of the words smacked me so hard I actually felt a dent on my brain. When I sit here in my empty room thinking of what I’m doing with my life, staying in on warm days with the electric fan on high and falling asleep to the sound of the rain outside my window not once looking out, in my head I keep telling myself “life should be an adventure. What are you doing in bed?” I give myself reasons and excuses and go wishing I were somewhere else on vacation near the seas or in some other country enjoying nature, at a beach house in Kawayan Cove or simply a swing set rocking higher and higher until I fall and see stars– anywhere but here where I can truly live. My dad used to tell stories about his childhood; the freedom of walking on the sidewalks as kids with no care, running around with toy guns and actually shooting a snake in the head, hunting and playing out there in the wild. Their home was outside. The whole world was their playground. They had no limits or constraints and I wish I had that too. I once played under the rain when I was a kid and my mom got mad and I never did it again. Now I tell myself I love the rain but I open the umbrella when I’m out, I love the sun but I stay under the shade instead of bask in its warmth, I love the trees but I only watch from the distance not feeling its trunk. There is a motion in life I am in love with but it’s like loving from a distance; or a window pane clear enough to look through but solid enough to block. In one of my little misadventures and I use mis because they were feigned, I accidentally stumbled upon this little guy named Alex. He’s 16 which makes him four years younger than me but what struck me the most about him is the fact that this kid knows how to live.
He likes to stand on edge, scan the surface below him and jump with his eyes open wide. I once got the opportunity to talk to him and his advice: “Look, you’re 20. Go out and have fun. Just have a good time, it doesn’t matter how or when or where. Just loosen up, lighten up, and live a good life.” I vowed to myself I’d jump off some tall place after that. I’m still waiting for that chance.
But right now I became cognizant that indeed, it is not always the adventure that’s out side waiting for you. Most times, the adventure is within. I have been so caught up in believing that adventure meant doing some life-gripping thing that I’ve forgotten the kind of adventure that is just as real: the adventure of school, of making new friends and enemies, of falling in love and getting my heart broken, of crying to the point of healing, and most importantly, the adventure of recovery, redemption, and growth. There are some pretty neat adventures that occurs within that make my life and who I am today and if it were not for being bullied back in kindergarten, I would not have made my first boy best friend who protected me from that day on and the rest of the year, made my first best friends in grade school who each left one by one only so that I could find my real ones, had my first crush in grade five on the first guy I have ever known I wasn’t directly related to but only because my uncle told me he had a crush on me first, sharing weird secrets and stories and playing dodgeball before highschool, the horrors of soirees and proms along with the joys of having a barkada do I realize that I needn’t look far for adventure. It is already here.
There are different kinds of adventures in life and there are different kinds of people. There are people like Alex who go wild and crazy and passionate in what they do,
and then there are other people who prefer to have adventures in lighter degrees such as spending a friday night reading a book, or talking to a friend on the phone for hours until the break of light, or just cuddling with a fluffy dog as company. One can even choose to live that moment in the adventure of being a total camwhore.
And then there are the adventures shared with other people, in holding hands, in booming laughs, in gentle pats or simple smiles in the knowledge that sometimes, a presence is enough. I am still a firm advocate that life should be lived and I am still going to jump off a high location one day and scream my lungs out in terror and fright and excitement until I hit the bottom, but I am also content in the new-born recognition that I don’t need to wait for that opportunity to come. My opening for adventures has already arrived. The only thing that’s left for me to do is reply with a big resounding YES.