“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
-T. S. Eliot.
-T. S. Eliot.
There are a lot of things that I’d like to do, plenty that I want to do, and many more things I’ve never even considered doing, simply because I’m either not prepared to take a risk, or I lack a sense of adventure, or I’m just a plain, old-fashioned, scaredy-cat.
The thing is, I wasn’t always like this. I used to have a great sense of adventure. If it sounded like it was fun, and not painful in any way (I'm really not big on pain), then I was up for it. Be it jumping in puddles on the way home (to the shock of passers-by – whom I was careful not to splash, just so you know), getting pink highlights, talking to strangers, or just trying something new, I was there. It was soooo done. But in the past couple of years, I’ve kinda toned down and I seem to have lost my sense of adventure. And I miss it. A lot.
And yes, in a lot of instances I looked rather crazy (what would you think if you saw a grown woman jumping in all the big puddles in a street?), and sometimes I looked just plain stupid (like the doughnut-eating competition. Which, to make matters worse, I lost.), and sometimes I actually looked pretty cool (the pink highlights were amazing). But I always, always, always had fun. I always wound up laughing – and never by myself. I chatted to people I would never have come into contact with otherwise, and really enjoyed talking to them.
This year I realised just how much I love all of that, and how I really don’t love sitting on the sidelines watching other people have fun. I’ve realised just how much I need to reconnect with the more adventurous spirit in me. It’s hard, though, now that I’ve got so used to playing it safe. But finishing uni has kinda given me an impetus to get back in touch with my more daring side.
More often that not, it’s not about creating or actively seeking new experiences, but about recognising the fun right in front of you and making the most of the opportunities you have.
And it’s not that I’m getting older and moving on to the next stage in my life. That’s different. That’s ok. I can live with getting older – it means I get to be a little more polished (sometimes), and believe me, that’s a nice change, from being the punky one. But it’s no reason not to have fun – and that’s what I feel I’m missing when I’m less daring.
I’ve grown this year in the simple realisation that I need to be more adventurous and take advantage of any opportunities that come my way. As a result I’ve started to take risks and am getting back to my old habit of being a bit more daring, because it’s truer to who I am.