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The glowing moss lit the way; Jim wasn’t sure what adventures were ahead, but it was definitely the path for him, the path less traveled…
What is an adventure?
I’ve been thinking a bit on this today. What really constitutes an adventure? Is it danger? Is it a change of plans? Is it just something unexpected?
Dictionary.com defines adventure as
1) An exciting or very unusual experience
2) A bold, usually risky undertaking
I agree with these definitions and I think they go hand in hand. Unusual experiences usually come after taking some kind of risk. The excitement of adventure leads Jim into an unknown area to explore the wilderness around him. The moss is unusually soft on his feet as he hikes and he has come across this new experience through taking paths that are not worn.
I find that my own life has been somewhat like Jim’s adventures. I don’t want to follow the predefined path that most people take. I wasn’t always this way. When I was growing up I attended public school like all my friends, I got a job in high school, like most my friends, and I had a truck, like most of my friends. I followed a set answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always answered “An Engineer”, although I never really knew what engineers did or why it would be so cool to be one.
After High School I served a full-time Mormon mission to New York City. Coming from a small southern Utah town to the largest and most diverse city in the world was very eye opening. But I still had this idea in my mind that I will go home after my mission, got to college, become an engineer, and live happily ever after with a family and lots of money.
I don’t know when I woke up.
I can’t really put a finger on it. I think it was all the business books I read in my free time and all the self-help books about improving ones thoughts and actions. It was a gradual understanding that I was following a direct path into the rat race. The race to get lots of money. The race to keep up or surpass the Jones’. I went through college and got a degree before I woke up. I followed the whole resume building plan to spruce up my hire-ability. I worked hard to become this idea I had in my mind of an engineer designing things and having a blast. But it was not a real thing. Engineering turned out to be rather boring for me. It was all about making my boss wealthy and the company wealthy. It was all about money. Engineering was all geared towards finding the cheapest option that would work and not fail and lead to other liabilities. It was about following rules and set guidelines that were already established at the companies I worked for. I found that as an engineer I was given all the projects and work that the owner himself did not want to do.
I guess it’s like that in most professions. You have to follow this set standard. I also found how our money system revolves around this system of the rat race. Marketing and buying and selling and getting more and more stuff. Get a promotion at work? Get a new car! Match and exceed your income! Get paid a lot? Buy a house!
These things are not necessarily bad, but the why is missing.
I have since left the rat race and have focused on building my own character through taking on risk and adventure. It is still hard work, do not get me wrong. All those folks that paint getting out on your own and starting a business or entrepreneurship as easy are feeding a lie that is so easily accepted through the rose colored glasses of seeing the finished result without the effort.
I like Jim’s adventures because they are a true adventure away from all the troubles of society. They are adventures in self reflection and pondering, where one can appreciate all the things God does without us. The beauty of nature and light. The beauty of colors and growth. The beauty of the mountains and the valleys. The beauty of forests and deserts. I sometimes envy Jim as he can drop everything and go. I also at times feel sad for Jim because he does not seem to have anywhere to be.
All in all, Jim has a great time out in the hills and I also get to get out in nature to recharge my batteries for the adventure that is life!