How To Break Free

You are hungry for adventure. It’s okay to admit it. Adventure, defined as the act of living an exciting or unusual experience, is a dish that can be eaten solo or shared with others. It tastes like freedom, with an aftertaste… of glory. Facing the soul-crushing monotony of constantly checking your phone/Facebook status updates, nothing is better than feeling so alive that you just wanna give yourself a high-five or point at a stranger, fist pump, and say “Yeah, Man.” Sounds cheesy, I know, but if you think that then you’re probably a hater and the last adventure you had was when you got high and failed to get The Wizard of Oz to sync up with Dark Side. Get your shit together — a real adventure is out there, and it’s closer than you may think.

Too often we think that adventure is connected to physical travel, which means money. You tell yourself, “I’ll never get to participate in an adventure like Dr. Jones because I don’t have the money” (or good looks, or education, or fighting skills.) While the rich boys are exploring the Middle East and learning to differentiate among hummus varietals, you’re slumped in your chair at your (insert menial job you hate), rationalizing your sloth by convincing yourself you only have cash for rent and Easy Mac. Newsflash(es) for you:

1) Measuring your life against someone else’s is a fool’s game
2) You make your own adventure.

If you start comparing your enterprise with someone else’s, then you’re already doing it wrong. You decide your own quest. You dictate who or what the dragon is and just what you’re striving for.

Let me reiterate: adventure doesn’t demand that you travel to some far-off land. But you know this; you saw Up (If you didn’t, what the shit are you doing with your life?). Here’s maybe a better, more scientific way to classify adventure: “paradigm shift,” or basically stepping outside of your comfort zone. This is extremely easy to do. You can find in your own city, neighborhood (hell, apartment… apartment floor) an infinite array of small adventures to be had. I know it sounds corny, but they are literally waiting to be found. Maybe it’s a random Facebook invite from that person who was in your bogus painting elective in college. Perhaps it’s a phone call to that certain somebody you’ve always wanted to ask out. Or maybe, instead of laughing at on some flyer posted in your local artisan coffee shop, you call the number and start learning some magical new skill.

Here’s an example for you: About a month ago, my girlfriend and I were sitting on our asses at home trying to figure out who had a hookup for an HBO Go password when we realized we wanted to get out of the crib and track down some bomb-ass soul food. We came to this realization because we were A) hungry as hell and B) longing for something that we knew was out there and waiting to be found. A quick search pointed to a clear standout: some tiny restaurant located deep in the heart of South Central LA. Impulse kicked in and we tried talking ourselves out of it. It was too far away, it wasn’t in the safest part of town, we would get killed in a drive-by before we could finish our candied yams and mac n cheese…

Then we realized we were making excuses, and we just needed to go for it. So we did, and weeks later we’re still dreaming of when we’re going back for more oxtails and butter cake (yes that’s a real thing).

One last crucial component: say yes to adventures when they come knocking. If Bilbo, Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, or Lena Dunham declined the bearded old stoner’s offer when he showed up, then nothing exciting would have ever happened to them. Or anybody with an opportunity ever. I won’t lie to you, answering this call to action is the hardest part. Saying “yes” is tough, but when the stakes are as high as enriching your life, you need to be ready to go for it.

Honestly though, if you want to stay in your safe place, that’s cool, but if you want to funnel the nectar of life like it’s Natty Light and you’re a freshmen in college, then just go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? A buddy of mine always points out that assuming no one dies, even the worst times have the potential to become the best stories. So say YES and get after it. Seek out that adventure. And and do me a favor when you’re finished: let me know how living feels. TC mark

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image – Nanda

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