"It was such a joy to meet you." That part I kept. Because it was, it was such a joy to meet her. "What an adventure you had." This part I wrote and quickly deleted.
I'm fairly certain this sweet girl would have thought nothing of it. She would have taken my words for what they were: a heartfelt response to her sweet message.
And not a thing more.
She wouldn't have become all bent out of shape, all fired up, just because of the way my words strung together.
Had? She had an adventure?
She was living one right now.
You see, I used to be that way. And by used too, I mean I still struggle with this.
When I think adventure, I think long flights, airport terminals, and biscoff cookies. [Quick thought bubble: These precious, delicious cookies are for sale in most grocery stores. Get some and dunk them in your tea.]
I think of waiting at a "bus stop" alone in Nicaragua and politely [and fearfully] declining a kind mans gesture of offering me some peanuts. By bus stop I mean random tree on the side of a road.
I think of camping in Washington State.
I think of a van breaking down in Kenya and letting girls play with my hair as they chat in Swahili.
I think of elephants and hippos and eating without utensils.
I think of a heavy backpack cutting into the sides of my hips, hiking in flip flops because my feet are covered in blisters, eating cold soup from a can.
It's so easy to think that these things are the grand adventures of my life. And that adventures are this thing you do, and then they're gone and you're left to wait. Waiting to live your next grand adventure.
But I want to fight back y'all. I have to believe my greatest adventure is today. It's right now, sitting at my table, eating my oats, and drinking tea.
It's choosing to get up a little early, do yoga, and sit here with you to write. Because Lord knows I need it.
It's sitting at work on the computer, and choosing to drop everything to help a student who needs someone, anyone, to just listen. To look into his eyes, full of worry and sadness, with all my deepest compassion and say, "I'm so glad you're here. I'm so glad I got to meet you."
Maybe we need to hear that more. Maybe, we need to say that more.
My adventure is folding newborn onesies and blankets and figuring out how to set up a pack and play with my sister. Side note: Who invented those? Because you are genius. That thing is the coolest.
My adventure is realizing that when Matthew is gone, I really, really miss him.
I miss his hugs and kisses and smell.
I miss the space between his shoulder and neck.
And I never, ever, thought I'd be like that. I mean, I've been single wayyyyyy longer than I've been married.
Independence is my jam.
But in all honesty, when he's gone, it feels like something really important is missing.
I have friends caught in the middle, smack dab in between choices and dreams, wrestling with where to go and what to be. And the stress and anxiety of it all can be heavy [I know this well]. But friend, you're also smack dab in an adventure.
An adventure of discovery and knowing and wanting to be known.
I have friends who are newlyweds, navigating the joys and trials of that first year. Paying bills, sharing chores, switching between being the little and big spoon.
It's a love adventure. One of growth and vulnerability.
It's easy to compare adventures. It's easy to think that maybe we're missing it, that maybe it already happened, and now we just wait
But this life, each itty bitty moment, each meal, cup of coffee, and fight is our great adventure.
It happens when I'm buying groceries and when I say good morning to my neighbor.
When I fall into the soft spot on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, with someone or thing I really, really love.
Maybe this is it. Maybe the grand adventure isn't a long flight or foreign city. Maybe it's this life, in all it's routine and simplicity.
I'm going to try and fight for that y'all. Maybe we could do it together?