Adventure is a way of life. It is putting your ideas ahead of your abilities, and your dreams ahead of your fears.
Before you begin to adventure you are mocked, judged, criticized: that will never work! But once you take your first step the whole world is rooting for you, the people you meet are amazed, they want you to succeed.
Not every single one of them, but enough.
Along your way you’ll find the lowest times, the deepest pains, fears in your soul that you did not know you harbored. You will look around, gasping, for anyone to blame—and there will only be yourself.
At these times you must pull forward, one hand over one hand, until you can walk again. You will want to give up, but adventure has its own siren call, and you will perhaps keep going. First you must forgive yourself.
You will meet companions. Some whom you trust, some whom you don’t; some likable and some grotesque; you will learn to check your judgment, to silence it, and not to mock others as you were once mocked. Sometimes the people least like yourself will be the ones you love the most.
You will enjoy nights of fatal bliss, nights beside a friend you will never see again: one you understand perfectly, and who understands you. You will speak in hushed tones like two thieves planning conquest. And you will know that, no matter where you go, you will always find your kin.
And when you kiss! When you kiss, it will never be halfway. You will grab them and possess each other.
Then you will learn to talk to storms, winds, streams, and wooded glens: the world will become an old chum, a well-known companion in her own right. You will learn her temperaments, and speak to her not as shaman but as lover. Her rhythms will beat warm against your skin, her temperaments endearing.
The world has both good and bad. When others run in fear, you will walk peacefully toward the wind.
And your fearlessness comes in. Not rashness but a knowing smile. You pull the arrow from your side and tend your sewing kit. You give shelter to those who shrink, you forgive those who run. Sometimes you stand alone, sometimes you are creatures of legend.
This is a simple process. It is not elusive. Adventure gives you hardship, victory, and unshakable peace. It is the practice of heroes.
Can anyone adventure? Yes but—no one will ask you. Every force will hold you back except your heart. If your heart aches for it, the door is open. Adventure is open.
It is the practice of heroes.
You might also enjoy my essay The day I had nothing left.