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Adventure Called Her Name - 51st Birthday Reflections

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

She closed her eyes and kissed the wind, not knowing what her tomorrow would bring.

Some might call it luck, but she called it hope. The kind of hope that caused her to hold everything she loved tenderly in her heart to intensify with warmth as she held them within her arms.

What could it be? She wondered gently gazing at the sunrise. It had been a while since she took a road trip by herself and climbed up that mountain once again, this time, she was determined more than ever to reach its peak.

It was Thursday morning, four days before her 51st birthday, during a time when her circle of friends wanted to surround her and celebrate, she just wanted to be alone and reflect.

Had she conquered the world? She pondered over and over again, somewhat distraught. She was a fool for adventure and she knew it, that’s what got her there in the 1st place, on top of that mountain.

Just as the clock struck midnight, adventure came knocking at her door early that morning before the sun rose as she tossed and turned in her bed. Half asleep, she heard the sound of his familiar voice as she dreamt of surrounding her arms at the nape of his neck, breathing in his fragrance as he called her by name. “Would you come and dance with me under the moonlight?” he whispered in her ear “take my hand and run away with me and let the stars light our path ...” he cupped her face into his hands as his sparkling eyes looked sternly into hers, his lips partially opened as he slightly smiled.

She found herself in a daze. Why is he knocking at my door? It had been over 7 years since she had a whirlwind romance with adventure, when she was much younger, more vibrant and energetic she thought.

Her eyes looked down to the ground as he caressed her shoulders “What’s wrong? Don’t you remember all the fun we had together? Why did you leave me? Why did you not come to visit, I was waiting for you…” his voice made her heart tremble at the fear of never seeing him again. She wanted to look him right in the eye and tell him the truth, that she got caught up in life’s routine, her ambitious heart to be successful in her career took over her soul’s desire for adventure, for him, but she couldn’t. She turned her back towards him and tried to walk away, but instead, hesitated and stood still. Before she could take a step forward, he quickly wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight, smelling the floristic aroma from her hair, he gently kissed the back of her head and didn’t let her go.

What sort of excuse could she come up with? How can she tell him the truth that she got so caught up with life itself that she forgot to take some time out for adventure? Did she forget or did she intentionally leave him out of her life, saying that she didn’t need him anymore nor the never ending life he offered, one that satisfied her every being?

She always had a love for adventure, a desire to explore the ends of the earth. When did she give up hope? When did she give up the dream? When was the last time she climbed a mountain or swam in the endless sea of possibilities?

Routine had become her best friend, her new lover and adventure was slowly forgotten. Routine required no risk on her behalf, he was secure, stable and she knew what her tomorrow would bring with him. Get up at 6am, go to the gym, come home shower and get ready for work. It was her goal to arrive at work 10 minutes early to make sure she got her cup of latte at the coffee shop down the hallway, saying good morning to some friends before she began her 9am to 5pm work day. On occasion she would go out with friends for dinner or happy hour, it was during those times when she was out socializing that she would scour the crowded room in search for adventure, hoping to catch his eye or smile in the faces that surrounded her.

Sometimes she would find him in a distant corner, her eyes glistening at the sight of him, she would gather up her courage with a snicker in her smile and wave “hi” only to find him fading into the dark shadows as he gradually submerged into the four corners of the earth. That is as far as it ever went, she never got up from her seat to seek out adventure because she was so content with the present and did not want to lose her place at the table. She feared missing out on all the good times with her childhood friend Fun who offered her spurts of laughter, pleasure, and distraction. In reality, the satisfying smile that adventure placed on her face is what she always wanted, yet ignored.

Today though, was a different story, the same routine over and over again became dissatisfying and she needed more, craved more “There has to be more to life than this!” she exclaimed as she abruptly woke up that morning with the night sky still shining. Glassy eyed, her hair tangled in a mess, she ran to the door when she heard adventure knocking, she knew it was him by the way he gleefully knocked “Pum, rada-pum, pum, pum-pum!”. As she opened the door, he smiled at her, the beam in her eyes said words unspoken, she missed him and all the good times they once had together, she didn’t have to say a thing, he could feel it within her essence. Serenading her with his caress, he drew closer to her with confidence, speaking gently under his breath he curved out the words into her heart “ENAMÓRATE DE LA VIDA Y LA VIDA SE ENAMORARÁ DE TI …”, her ears pulsated at the sound of his melodic voice that ran deep into her bloodstream and made her feel alive again.

She was hesitant at first, wasn't too sure if she could take another risk with adventure, it would take her out of her comfort zone, a place she thought she never wanted to leave. There were just so many things involved with this transition and she was afraid that routine would once again win the war for her soul. Besides, she was no longer that carefree young girl who had the world at the tip of her finger, or so she thought.

But, she needed adventure, she could no longer live without him. Routine was like a brother, a best friend, the boy next door , she needed him, but she needed adventure so much more, to live life without him seemed mundane and empty. Life was too short not to take the risk and give him another chance.

As she reached the top of the mountain, giving one big sigh of achievement, her heart finally caved in, closing her eyes, head lifted with lips perched, adventure breathed gently upon her lips and kissed her, slowly seeping into her soul breath by breath as the wind gently swam across her face, filling all the empty spaces and senses with desire. Adventure gave her something that Routine could never give her, hope.

When the world around her seemed to stand still as time went by, adventure aroused her very being, made her take risks, challenged her to fly, her adrenaline began to rush at the very thought of it. Her heart beat faster and faster as her clammy hands reached out for the tip of his fingers to grab hold of and smiled, she was ready for him and this time she was not going to let him go.

As the sunset casually arrived, she slowly opened her eyes only to find him grinning from cheek to cheek as his face appeared in the crimson lights that covered the sky. The very thought of not knowing what tomorrow would bring was exciting and for the first time in a long time she had hope, the gift that only adventure could bring.

Author's Notes: Every year I enjoy writing a reflective piece for my birthday. These past 7 years have been quite challenging to say the least. My health was interrupted with me ending up in the hospital not once, not twice, but three times, the first being a near death experience. I fought through three fires, dedicated my life to helping others find hope as they rebuilt their lives and within that, I found the true meaning of hope, through them, one that I never thought existed before. Then there was COVID something we can all relate to, which challenged this extrovert to settle and "keep still" with much time on her hands. "Ugh" I thought to myself back then, but now I am grateful because I learned a lot about my self and now see that I never really changed, the girl I was at 16 is still there, but much more wiser with many more smiles that have come along the way.

It's easy to get stuck in our "comfort zone" and life's everyday routine, forgetting about the vigorousness of our youth. Yet, our souls never cease desiring adventure and the vitality that it can bring to one's life. Hope you enjoy and can find yourself somewhere in the words that I write. ~Jenny ~

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