A few days before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and everything was locked down, I was feeling restless (I know, I know, joke’s on me). It was a mix of cabin fever as the result of a long Midwest winter and just being 22 years old, ready to do things and go places, not caring what or where.
I wanted adventure in much the same tone a stereotypical YA protagonist wants adventure.
Well, covid made sure that didn’t work out. There were no adventures for me. Or maybe my definition of adventure is just too tight.
I work mostly from home, and the other day I got tired of the view from my desk, of the same old rooftops and same old treetops. So I packed my laptop and drove up to the lake to get some work done. I didn’t even get out of my car. I just stayed in the parking lot.
Sounds boring, right?
But there’s something to be said about just sitting in a car (when the car isn’t moving, that is). I love eating lunch in the car between performances (I’m a ballet dancer, among other things). I love doing my makeup in the car before I head into work or reading a book when I have time to spare. I love staying in the car with someone long after we’ve stopped driving, as if the conversation would be lost by shifting locations. Maybe it’s sort of like being in a hotel room. Everything is fun and different in a hotel; even simple things like watching TV suddenly feel like a novelty.
Maybe because these things are out of the ordinary. Maybe because they pull us from monotony. But they’re not such a violent change that it’s disrupting. They’re simple. They’re soft.
A soft adventure.
Sure, I’d like to go on a “hard” adventure. I’d like to hit the open road, but my bank account doesn’t want me to hit the open road. Or I can’t take time off work, or I’m feeling too tired and overwhelmed to do much besides what’s absolutely necessary.
In March 2020, I wanted a hard adventure. I still do. But that’s not possible all the time, and I’m not always up for it.
“I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference,” Robert Frost once wrote. I say a different view can make all the difference. Life is often dull or monotonous, but we’re not always up for big adventures and big changes. Sometimes we just need a different place to sit, a different place to walk, a new tea to drink or a new restaurant to order food from. (Or just get cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. No one’s judging you.)
Sometimes we just need a soft adventure.