Last year, my best friend saw a picture of Edinburgh, Scotland on Tumblr. She was completely taken with how wonderful it looked there, peaceful and historic. To her, the city looked like it had a story to tell. It looked like a place where things happened and people did something with their lives. Only three months after seeing that picture, talking about how nice it would be to visit that wonderful place, she moved. All the way from a small town in Canada to a big city in Europe. Out of her parents’ home and into an apartment she shared with someone she met in a hostel.
I’ve always envied people who could do things like that; see something, want it, and then just… Do. It was that sense of drive that I’ve always felt I’ve lacked. The fearlessness of someone who knows what they want and takes all the measures possible to get it. The bravery of someone who would move to a city alone, not concerned with whether or not they’d make friends or fit into the community. My friend moved to Edinburgh, Scotland and began a new life that, admittedly, stuck a big time zone difference between us. While she was learning about the new culture and living on her own in Europe, I started my first semester at a college I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be at.
This contrast bugged me.
I could feel something, deep and painful in my chest, that told me I wanted adventure. I wanted to make a change, see something and then go for it. I wanted to march through the woods, explore my local city at night, or even cross the country to chase what I felt I was missing. I wanted to do and be so much. So what did I do to achieve those dreams of mine?
I went to school, I went to work, and I went home. Sometimes I’d hang out with the few friends I had around my hometown, sometimes I’d Skype with my friends online, but for the most part? I stuck to my same routine, wallowed in my feelings of emptiness and unachievable dreams. I made money and spent it all, I struggled to pass my class. I could feel the anxiety and worry bubbling up inside of me, telling me I’d never get to do what I wanted to. I was so unbelievably scared that I’d end up sitting at a desk job every day, or maybe teaching. God forbid I became a stay at home mother who never went after what she wanted.
To be very clear, these aren’t bad things to be or do or even want. They just aren’t things I’ve ever wanted for myself. Since I was very young, I wanted to be the eccentric friend who jumped into situations without thinking, who did things that people were afraid to. I wanted to be the Kirsten Dunst in a movie; the girl who could set up a life changing road trip because she knew the world so well. I wanted to be a very different person than the one I became. Instead of being the manic pixie dream girl I thought women were supposed to be, I was anxious. I was a planner, I wanted to know what was coming and how to get there. An unmotivated, beaten down perfectionist. That was who I was.
And then I started making YouTube videos, which was something I had wanted to do since I was ten years old. I made a leap, I took a chance, and fell down a rabbit hole where I didn’t know what the future was or where I’d end up by the end of it. And, honestly? Nearly a year later, I still don’t.
Today, my friend came home from Scotland. She’s moved back into her house in her tiny town in Canada. And me? I go to school, I work, I go home, and I film videos. If you think about it, not much has changed in nearly a year. And yet, I know something has. Wanting to be adventurous doesn’t have to mean moving across the world to experience a culture, it can mean doing something as painfully simple as sharing your heart online.
The truth of the matter is; I don’t know what I want to be when I get older. I go to college because it is what is expected of me at this time in my life. Not because it’s something I want to do. I go to work, do a job I like, but not something I want to do forever. I stick to this routine that… Doesn’t reflect who or where I want to be in the future. The only thing I do in my day-to-day life that I genuinely enjoy and choose to do… Is make YouTube videos.
My own, personal adventure is creating. I build worlds and characters in my writing, I share my heart in videos, I talk about the shows and issues I care about. I can’t afford to cross the country, or even go three hours away to experience a new town. It’s just not in the budget currently. What I can do is go to school, go to work, go home, and make my own adventure with every project I choose to do.
That’s all, folks.