In her book, Untamed, Glennon Doyle opens with an imaginary conversation with a Cheetah named Tabitha from the local zoo. As she watches Tabitha methodically pace at the edges of her enclosure, she imagines Tabitha saying, “I feel restless and frustrated. I have this hunch that everything was supposed to be more beautiful that this. I should be grateful. I have a good enough life here. It’s crazy to long for what doesn’t even exist.” And then she would say in return, “You are not crazy. You are a goddam cheetah.”
Over a month ago I started posting a series called 100 Days of Adventure, chronicling the ways I am hunting down adventure in my everyday life. Some days are more challenging than others but it’s the journey not the destination I am after. Here is a little about how and why it all began…
There are many who take solace in the steady stability of routines. Many more who find joy in the simplicities of homelife, nesting and family. And then there are those, who like me, are gypsies. For us, change and action are paramount. Adventure lights us up. It revives the soul. It reminds us we are alive. And when life becomes stagnant, our souls go dark. The light in our eyes goes hazy and our energy becomes flat. Externally, this plays out as boredom, discontent, melancholy and lack of focus.
On a snowy Saturday afternoon in February, I was filling the already deep divot in my basement couch. Next to me, a familiar figure from my past. The dark and mysterious Lady Discontent had begun following me. Although aware, I had pretended to not notice. We had been down this road before. Seduced by the way she glamorized loneliness and isolation, tempting me to wall off the outside world. Convincing me that nothing mattered. But I knew better.
Less than two years earlier I had moved to a place that is everything I ever wanted. Perfect weather, outdoor adventures, grounded loving people. And yet, as Winter wore on I was becoming more likely to sit on the couch or hit the same local restaurant than put in the effort to embrace this new paradise. As a result, my work was unfocused, my relationships distant, my health neglected and my general outlook bleak and solemn.
There are times in life you simply have to figuratively shake your own soul by literally shaking up your own life. A time to push yourself, try new things, do hard things. A time to embrace uncharted territory, to be vulnerable, to be embarrassed. A time to sit across the table from fear unrelentingly focused on getting comfortable in the discomfort. A time to revel as much on the failures as in the triumphs. THIS was that time for me.
And it is from this place that 100 Days of Adventure was born. A challenge to no one but myself. A challenge to find a way to build adventure into my everyday life. A challenge to reignite the belief that what I long for does, in fact, exist. To simply live a life without enclosures. To be a goddam cheetah.
Thanks for coming along on the ride with me. It’s nice to have company.