Not every day of an adventure is good. In fact, there are long stretches where the bad days outnumber the good. Your body, mind, and spirit crumble under the weight of it all and the thought of continuing on bring dread upon your heart.
Perhaps it starts with a sudden pain in your knee. The weeks and months of constant repetitive motion take their toll. Despite all the best intentions to stretch and take care of your body, you failed and you are too weak. You ignore the pain and hope it passes, foolishly believing that acknowledging it is to give it power and make it real. Maybe, just maybe, the mind can convince the body that everything is fine… that physical reality is a concept that can be created and destroyed by our thoughts. But it isn’t so, the body is weak and eventually succumbs to the abuse. Eventually all machines fail, including our body. Entropy wins.
Or maybe it starts with a brush with death. A noise gets your attention and you spin around just in time to see a car narrowly miss you. Your mind starts down an infinite rabbit hole of “what if” scenarios. That car could have hit you and paralyzed you. Is the adventure worth it? That sound in the night could be a rapist or murderer who destroys the person you love. Is the adventure worth it? The narrow bridge you cross finally collapses after decades of neglect and you plunge 100 feet into the icy river, ending your life as the water fills the lungs of your unconscious body. Is the adventure worth it?
Your soul starts to second-guess your motives, too much time alone with only your thoughts makes you reconsider your life course. Maybe everyone else is right, maybe it is a sign of immaturity, weakness, and cowardice that you don’t just live the life everyone has. Can millions of people be wrong? Maybe you didn’t grow up. Maybe you are that same 13-year old who wished each night that you would wake up with mutant powers like Cyclops or Jean Grey. Maybe you should have outgrown this childish desire to be unique, this feeling of being special, this drive to make your life matter in some grand way. Maybe everything you feel is just a delusion of grandeur. Maybe you are inspiring nobody and everyone is just laughing at you. Maybe you think you are traveling towards adventure but you are really running from responsibility. Maybe you are mentally sick. Maybe you should admit the truth and done the costume of the insane, whether that be a straight-jacket or a suit and tie.
You get tired sometimes. Tired of sleeping with one eye open in a strange place with a gun next to your pillow. Tired of your safety relying on the competence of strangers. Tired of not knowing where you will find water or food. Exhaustion takes hold and you just want to rest somewhere safe and have a dreamless sleep.
Is the adventure worth it?
Is it worth it to spend years of your life without a home? Traveling to see places that you won’t clearly remember? Meeting people that you will quickly forget? Is true freedom worth it when society has paved such a clear path to security?
Some days I don’t know. The truth is, sometimes the mountain isn’t worth climbing and sometimes the adventure was a waste of time. Sometimes, the bad days win and I would be better off in not adventuring.
Sometimes, the adventure sucks.