1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
i have wanted to move out of my hometown since i was about fourteen years old. on my fifteenth birthday i started counting down the days til my 18th birthday. on any given day throughout those three years you could ask me and i could rap off an exact day amount that i had left. i knew i only had 1,095 days to go. one thousand ninety five days til i could leave sacramento in my rear view window to never look back.
but here i am. twenty two years old. 1,620 days to the day since i turned 18. one thousand six hundred and twenty days and i am still in sacramento. i am still living in my parents home. and the only thing i can see in my rear view mirror is my dreams. in the recent months, even years, this realization has made me horribly depressed. i would beg for a new change. i prayed i could move to southern california with my best friend when she left two years ago but i knew it wasn't right. i wanted an adventure. i wanted something to look back on and smile. i wanted so many things that i believed sacramento could never offer me.
i use to think an adventure meant doing something great and going somewhere life changing. but i have started to realize that adventure isn't something that you can do but adventure is something you can be. because it is a part of me. its the pieces of cartilage that make up my bones. the blood that pumps and pounds through my veins. every hair follicle, molar, pinky toe, and wrinkle is an adventure. because i am the adventure. i am the story. the time, place, and city i am in is just the backdrop. when you read a story its the character, the protagonist, that draws you in. because they are creating a story worth knowing. im starting to see that now. im starting to find that adventure is dwelling inside of me in little caves and caverns i have yet to explore. its what wakes me up in the morning. its what keeps me alive. and i can find exactly what im looking for right here in my hometown. because you know what? its where i am. and its all a piece in the puzzle to my story.
i created adventure a few weeks ago. one i believe i will remember all my life. and not because i stood at the base of a mighty mountain or swam the warm waters of a distant ocean. but because i found in the outstretches of my town a little piece of happiness. a little piece of myself. and a little adventure.
it was one of the first truly stormy, rainy days we have had this winter season. i had been texing one of my really good guy friends about adventure and how we feel like its the perfect day for a little excitement. at 6:00 pm i picked him up in my little baby marshmallow car and started driving down madison ave, one of the main streets that digs through my town. we first stopped off to get dollar dr.peppers from mcdonalds and then we were off. i drive up highway 80 every single day on the way to work so i decided to jump on highway 50 on the other side of town. the rain was pouring down pretty hard and it was already pitch black outside. we wound up the hill past folsom, past el dorado hills, past everything seemingly familiar. i decided to take a random exit and started curving and twisting through the too small lane that my tiny car seemed too big for. i stopped to take a picture with my disposable camera of a road i have never walked down before and then started my winding again.
we drove down that little road til it branched off to a newer, bigger road that took us past little farm houses scattered randomly and big trees leaning towards us. iron and wine filled the air with a sweet aroma that tasted almost too good in those moments. the road started to tangle and twist too much and with the rain pouring down i got a little scared. he offered to drive so we chinese fire drilled in the rain and i got to sit in the passenger seat of my car which is still such a weird phenomenon. i leaned my seat back, rolled down the window just enough so little wet wisps of air could pinch my face, and let the moment wrap me up in its beauty. its the moments like that that almost feel sacred. spiritual. like a deep meditation or the witness of a miracle. because in those seconds, minutes,and hours, i felt at peace with the world and at total peace with myself.
somehow we ended up on the other side of town in a place ive never actually been before and we talked about our dreams, what it means to grow up, and our fears about commitment to life. i confessed of my fears to be stuck here by getting a car payment or an apartment lease and he shared about his doubts about what he wants to do and that he is worried about wasting time. we ended up in downtown sacramento driving through the roads and streets that hold so many people who have stories like our own. just as we were passing the capitol i yelled for him to stop and we parked on the side of the road. after five minutes of bundling up in scarves, sweatshirts, rain jackets, rain boots, and gloves we were ready to go on a walk.
walking around the capitol park at night was strangely relaxing and eerie. the brass monuments become scary shadows and the patrolling police that are on duty to keep people from doing what we were doing added a little edge in my step. but we walked through the flower garden, read all the plaques embedded on the trees, and danced in the shadows of somewhat breaking the rules. for my birthday this year my best friend got me a book called "anything that can happen in a day" and it is filled with little things you can do in a day to start a cause and effect. even if it is a little thing. while walking through the park i came upon an orange tree and one of the tasks from the book popped into my head. after jumping up and picking oranges, or finding little ones on the ground, i arranged ten of them on top of a monument that was shaped like a large book. the task in the book was to line up ten oranges in a row and leave them there. and that's exactly what i did. my friend looked at me like a crazy person as i carried the oranges around trying to find the perfect spot but after we walked away i was perfectly happy and content for completing one of the tasks.
once we got to the car i got back in the drivers seat and started to keep driving. we drove around, played car games, and ended up in a part of town that has neighborhoods that have access to the river. i parked under a large tree and wanted to walk down to the river but he explained to me that not only was it pouring down rain but it wasn't very safe. already drenched from our walk around the capitol i ran to my trunk and retrieved two blankets i keep in there just in case and shed all my wet layers to the backseat. we wrapped our damp bodies in blankets and listened to the rain pitter patter on the hood of my little car. it was one of the most relaxing times of my life. no where to be. no idea of the time. just enjoying the weird moments of life that you could never plan for. sitting in the front seat of my car with a soggy friend talking about aliens, love, and all the in between. i honestly have no idea how long we sat there or how long i dozed off for but eventually we started back on the road after both agreeing we are all sorts of weirdos.
after stopping off to get a late night snack and parking on a random street to eat we ended up in his neighborhood where we talked for another long while. by the time i dropped him off and walked into my front door it was 2:38am. we had been out and about for over 8 hours. where did that time go? my mind started to swirl over the past hours and everything that had happened. the one thing i could decide on was that it was an adventure. i was an adventure. from discovering new places. breaking a few rules. and from opening myself up to a friend i had never quite shared my heart with i knew that my evening had been nothing short of wonderful.
even writing about that night now doesn't seem to give it any justice. i wish i could have captured the songs, the way the night looked, the way my stomach jumped going over a big hill, and the magic that was in the air. but i realized that my night wasn't necessarily meant to be shared but to be remembered. and that is why im writing it down now. so i wont ever forget anything about this night. i wont forget the adventure i became. and i wont ever forget that i came alive and became an adventure in the very hometown i thought kept me from living.
because life is what happens when you are making plans. and adventure comes alive in those who are willing to let the spark turn into something more then a little heat. even if that heat comes in a place you never imagined it would start.