If I were to say that when I was in college I knew exactly what I’d be doing when I finished, that I knew what the year college ended, the year after that, or the five years following would hold for me job-wise or life-wise, then I’d be lying. It isn’t a revelation to say that, because I’ve come to discover in the two years since graduating that no one knows what they want to do ultimately, and the few twenty-somethings that do often times don’t yet have the means to actually accomplish the things they want to accomplish. Then there are the alien few who land their dream jobs straight out of college–but we aren’t talking about them; we’ll pretend they don’t even exist.
Because of that, there is a quality about ages 18 to somewhere past thirty that everyone often misses–whether this is due to our heads being buried down into forty pound text books, or to our incessant search for a job, a ring, an apartment, or what have you–and that quality is this: that life is an adventure. We don’t see it, or choose not to see it, because adventures are unpredictable. Plan out your steps, map out your course, and the adventure will change. Attempt to understand it all in any complete way–the adventure will prove you are wrong. For someone plotting out the way their life will go, that isn’t something they will want to accept. Adventures are exciting, sure, but they are dangerous. There is no guarantee that everything will be alright, no indication it will all be worth it, and that’s frightening in a lot of different ways.
But as I stand and face all of the many changes that are coming ahead of me, it is much easier for me to believe that life is an adventure. I have proved unequipped and unable to plot my course effectively, I have made choices at the right times and, as far as I believe, the right ways, but the things I believed would happen didn’t. An adventurous life tells me that things will be out of my control, that I will just have to ride along and take everything as it comes, but that isn’t entirely true.
Life isn’t in our control, but we can control the way we view it. Seeing life as a blueprint, as a map, as a planned out calendar of moments and experiences is a quick road to disappointment, but choosing to find joy in life’s moments, in the moments that are solely and entirely yours, is a choice you can actively make. Maybe you can’t choose the path your life takes in its entirety, but you can choose whether or not to enjoy it.
That’s something I’m trying to get better at. I have beautiful opportunities that have been set before me and have, for a very long time, dismissed them in favor of what I wished would be. But adventure is out there, in the strangest of ways–we just have to choose to see it.