I’m currently boarded a 6.30am flight from Melbourne to Auckland. I’m seated at the window, an allocation that has proven both ideal for the sunrise view and inconvenient for my bladder.
As we speak, I’m crossing a remarkably turquoise ocean below. It’s vast and dotted with boats that look like bath toys from up here. The sky is pink, lilac, yellow and blue — all at once, can you believe it?!
I don’t know why I booked another early flight: every time I have to wake at 4am to get to the airport, I hate myself for it. But now, sitting in the sky; observing its colour spectrum and even, the old man occupying seat B [he rests his chin on the puffer that is his chest and appears notably uncomfortable] — I’m somewhat glad to be catching the red eye. Life could be far, far worse.
At a time like this — on my way back to New Zealand for Fashion Week — I find myself particularly proud to be the person I am. Not because I’m attending Fashion Week and I’ll probably wear some cool clothes and take some cool photos and speak to some cool people. But because once again, I’ve welcomed this scale of adventure into my life.
In fact, I’ve done more than welcome it. I’ve chased it. I’ve seized it. In many a ways, I’ve become it.
On that note, my alter ego has muttered a familiar set of sarcastic words: “Wow, you’re a God.”
Fair enough — I believe I just claimed to have become adventure. And like, that warrants a call out.
With that said, I don’t like to feed into my alter ego too much. She struggles with the idea that you can credit yourself without being cocky. That you can love yourself without being over-confident. The real me, however, likes to treat the two as separate entities; further, to trust that one can exist [even thrive] without the other.
Fortunately, it’s the real me who’s writing this post today. Whilst potentially less funny (in a self-deprecating kind of way), real me sees value in who she is, despite who she’s been and who she may become. She sees value in the experiences she’s had, despite that there are many more to be had. And finally, in the mindset she’s created, despite how this too shall undergo constant recreation.
Introducing 5 Ways to Welcome Adventure into your Life: an insight into the little things I both sub-consciously and consciously enact, to build an adventure-filled life for myself.
1. Don’t work a 9-to-5 job.
I understand this sounds like an extremely poor piece of advice — also potentially a path to self-destruction, bankruptcy and [possibly the worst], a Santa sack of social judgement. BUT I promise there’s something to it.
Before I jump two-feet in, I feel I should probably whip out a good ol’ disclaimer and express that I don’t intend to bag the 9-to-5 lifestyle, nor the individual(s) whom take part. Granted I appear to be telling you not to be that individual — it’s only because that’s what’s worked for me [at least, thus far].
Everyone’s different. A lot of people favour structure, and still manage to find adventure in the more traditional working lifestyle. So I advise you to take what I say with a few thousand grains of salt [much the way I take a single fry these days. No seriously, the other day I thought I had heart strain after a bowl of fries. I need to stop showering my food in the stuff].
My point is, these are all tips to consider. I’m not claiming that each one is right for you. Instead, I’m hoping there are elements in which you’ll locate resonance. As I’ve said previously, each post on Currently Loving is about picking and choosing. Playing and experimenting. I encourage you to do exactly that with these tips — as well as with your everyday life.
Okay, I think I’ve covered the disclaimer part. Now to defend why you might reconsider a seat on the 9-to-5 bandwagon.
Here’s the thing: I wouldn’t be going to Fashion Week right now, if my working situation were different. I know this because A.J.’s brother is showing as an emerging designer, and being in full-time work, A.J. still can’t attend with me. It just isn’t a possibility for him.
And before assumptions are made that I’ve taken the week off to galavant around Viaduct Events Centre — a classic story that goes something like, privileged [white] girl offers unrealistic and unattainable advice — I haven’t.
This isn’t about being privileged or having the luxury to be lazy. In fact, that’s far from the message I’m here to write about. I’m saying that you may have to work even harder. This next week, I’m still working a typical [and particularly busy] week as a digital media marketing manager. My alternative role as a lifestyle blogger will, all the while, occupy several days worth of extra hours this week.
Indeed, it’s going to be a challenging time — it always is. But I want you to ask yourself this: would you opt the escapade for a normal week? Or take on double the workload in exchange for excitement, adventure and, well, life? I don’t need a moment to wonder before I’m jumping on a plane and choosing the latter.
That for now I am not bound by the time I must clock in and clock out — by an office at which I must show my face — means I have the freedom to CHOOSE challenge. And to CHOOSE adventure, instead.
Sure, the choice is one that I take at my own risk. What matters to me is that I can take it. That the option is mine, no matter the way I wish to throw my bags. What’s more, I’m fortunate not to have to sacrifice stable work or earning an income, should the place I wish to throw them — I don’t know — require a trip across the vast turquoise ocean.
Let it be said: you don’t have to quit your 9-to-5. But if you are looking to optimise opportunities for adventure and growth out-with your everyday workplace, I’d consider looking at the ways you can build your career path in a slightly more flexible direction.
2. Never let yourself get too comfortable.
This is an idea of which I’m so passionate about — and as a young person myself, it’s something that I already feel I witness too much. It appears easier than ever to avoid confrontation with challenge these days. Thanks to social media, we don’t have to test ourselves socially anymore. For those who don’t already recognise — or perhaps just struggle to seize — the value of discomfort in social circumstance, the digital sphere provides platform through which we can all avoid it.
We can send an e-mail if we’re struggling with our university content. We needn’t actually visit our lecturer and talk to him/her face-to-face. We can send a C.V. and attach a cover letter, as opposed to walking into a business, introducing ourselves and asking for a job.
I’ve often wondered if life is easier or harder for us now. Perhaps it’s just different. I’ve also pondered the conversation around anxiety: particularly, whether the feeling is heard in today’s conversation for it’s finally been given a voice. Or because the lack of enforced challenge in our everyday, means we haven’t surpassed barriers of apprehension, fear and uneasiness that we used to far earlier on.
Deeper issues aside, it’s become our own responsibility more than ever to ensure we don’t grow overly comfortable. After all, our lifestyles just aren’t forcing us away from ease anymore. They’re pushing us straight in the direction of the lush pillow and the clean sheets.
When I talk about comfort, you should know I’m not simply referring to staying in the same place — though of course, the discussion tends to this as well.
I’m talking about being surrounded by the same people. Possessing the same skills. Enacting the same routine. Participating in the same hobbies.
Every now and then, we ought to replenish ourselves of the sameness. For me, there are several things I do to avoid the land of comfort [after all, it’s not all that satisfying after a long period. You stay in the bath too long and you know what happens? You become a prune].
Firstly, I make an effort to constantly meet and collaborate with new individuals or groups of people. And I want to make a note that this pointer doesn’t just apply to people like me, who have recently moved countries or cities. In fact, it applies even more to people of the same city.
This isn’t about ditching your current friends, but it is about widening the scope of people you hang out with. Different people challenge you in different ways. They open us to new things; to new ways of thinking and to new ways of being. The more people you have around you, the more vast your possibilities for each of these things become.
The other day, I met a girl who told me she went bouldering in the weekend. I’ll be honest, apart from the obvious term ‘boulder’, I’m still a bit confused as to what it actually entails. I’m sure I’ll find out, because I asked her to take me a long next time. Fuck brunch — let’s boulder, right?!
I tell you, if I hadn’t met her, there’s no way in hell bouldering would have ever entered even the farthest corner of my brain. There’s nothing that throws a more positive spanner in the mix than interacting with new people. You learn a lot from them too.
Back to the subject of working life, I’m someone who constantly likes to peruse hiring websites — often not because I’m looking for a job, but because I like to be open to opportunity. Every now and then, I’ll apply for one on a whim. I might even get an interview.
Do I attend the interview? Yes. Even if I’m not too interested in the job itself. I know what you’re thinking: why would you put yourself through the interview process if you don’t think you’re going to go for the job? It’s to test myself. To become uncomfortable again. And to find comfort — even an element of fearlessness — from that discomfort.
I once signed myself up for this presenting course at the end of Summer (on that note, I’m not sure when I became that kid). We had to learn scripts in several minutes and recite them mistake-free in front of a camera and individuals of the class, as if on live TV. If we got it wrong, we did it again. And again. And again.
The presenting coach described me as that: fearless. I’ve never forgotten it, as I think it’s the first time I identified it in myself too. I willingly and repeatedly place myself in these uncomfortable situations, so that I learn to move past the discomfort — and head straight to the enjoyment.
In terms of public speaking, this meant focusing on engaging an audience, having people’s attention, owning the moment to share your voice, or even, quite simply basking in human connection. These things would become the focus, as opposed to concerns for nervousness, humiliation or potential failure.
Finally, I believe it’s important to stay inspired to stay uncomfortable. To me, that means reading blogs and articles, watching Youtube and listening to podcasts. It even means following the right people [or influencers] on Instagram.
From each of these sources, we gather insight into the everyday routines of people we admire. In doing so, we’re also granted with the power to implement new habits, to trial new hobbies and to be new people all the time. Stay inspired and stay uncomfortable, by constantly putting new ways of living to the test.
A new fitness routine just might get you up a mountain you’ve never climbed. A travel montage might see you driving around Australia in a caravan. A podcast about gratitude just might push you to take the time with your local barista.
There’s adventure in everything. You simply have to allow it entry into your life.
3. Ask. Or if you’re being asked, say yes.
While both are inarguably cliché, we’d be doing ourselves a disfavour to undervalue the importance of these two common ideas. The first one being, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. This is followed closely by the simple notion of saying yes. I believe that both are incredibly important to welcoming adventure into your life.
I believe I’ve recited this story before, but I’ll say it again [because I shock even myself with the train of events each time I recall them].
In first-year university, I asked a girl I’d met once at a tutorial to join me on a day-long hike out of town [yeah, not exactly the “let’s go grab coffee” kind of introduction!]. I liked her vibe, and for some reason, I had an inkling she’d be a fun hiking buddy. Plus, I wanted to go for a hike.
Her name is Chelsea and we’re best friends to this day.
If you assume the answer to a question — before you even ask it — you’re doing a disservice to both yourself and to that other person. I bet you anything that Chelsea had no intention of going hiking with a girl she’d met once. All it took to convince her? It was being asked the question. Don’t underestimate the power of asking.
Worthy of note is her saying yes too. It’d be wrong to solely credit myself for asking, without acknowledging her willingness — better yet, her eagerness — to say yes. This story relied on both a daring inquisitor AND a dedicated yes man (or, in this case, a yes woman). You’ll find that most stories worth telling involve both characters.
So next time someone asks you to go bouldering, say yes. Suggest brunch afterwards — but not instead. And if they choose a place you haven’t been before, don’t suggest a place you have. Say YES.
And on that note, let’s do this, NZFW!
Hold tight — there’s a lot to come!
Lots of love,
Photos by Marcelina Jasińska