Beyond the lure of adventure

HAVE you ever gone on a rollercoaster ride? Where you had to go so high into the air your heart was in your mouth and then be brought back down till you felt dizzy,  disoriented and nauseous.  That is what adventures are like. They are a combination of highs and lows, an exhilarating heart pumping high but also a dizzying,  nauseating and scary low. Some people argue that the highs make up for lows but I beg to differ.  Adventures really are not as great as we make them out to be.  There is something to be said about routine and stability.  I do not think there is anything wrong with doing the same thing over and over again if it produces good results.  In fact, nature itself is monotonous and boring.  The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west, the rains always come down. Imagine how crazy it would be if the sun rose in the west for a day, I do not know much about the science of it all but I am sure it would set in motion a chain of events we really do not want to know about.

When we do ‘the right thing’ over and over again to get a result,  we call it consistency.  And scientists  have found that consistency combined with talent is what breeds success. In fact, consistency way more than talent gives success,  that is the whole case for grit.  Adventures on the other hand, are glamorized cases for movies and TV shows to exploit.  They are seemingly perpetuated even more by the showy world of social media.  But like you might often find out, taking that lone trip round the world may not necessarily change your life; it might even complicate it further. Uprooting your life and moving to a new place may not bring the overnight success that you see on social media if you are not persistently doing the right thing. The grass, you might find, is not always greener on the other side; it is greener where you water it. Taking a leap of faith may lead you to an expected high but you have to be prepared to deal with the disappointment that comes with the low of that decision.

I recently found this out when I decided to take an adventure.  Rather than do what everyone expects of me, I chose to chase an adventure by moving all the way to an entirely different part of the country.  And I hated it. As the girl who hates change,  I hated every moment of my adventure.  I hated being the ‘JJC’ that could not find her way around,  I had to rely on maps but I still got hopelessly lost. I hated having to converse with strangers just to find my way around,  I hated that empty feeling of being away from everything you know and love. I hated having to plaster on a smile when all I really wanted was to cry my eyes out. Yet it had its moments.  I loved feeling invincible, or even invisible,  I loved making new connections that I would otherwise not have made but ultimately,  I hated the adventure.

Adventures, just like rollercoasters, sound like a lot of fun but maybe they are not. Maybe they are just one more thing the social media and movies have conditioned us to believe we need. Maybe there is nothing wrong with that job, that school you go to,  that house you have lived in all your life.  Maybe if you just stayed and appreciated what you have right now, you would find you have been happy all along. Maybe adventures can even be found in your seemingly boring routine. Maybe happiness should not be chased, maybe it has been there all along.  You just have to find it.

  • Wale-Olaitan, an educationist, writes in via waleayo21@gmail.com

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