Adventure near.

When I tell you to think of ADVENTURE, I bet you see mountain tops, airplanes, foreign markets, boats on big oceans, and weird foods (well, that’s what I’ve always thought of). However, as any big life event always does, graduation has caused me to revisit my definition of this sweet word that I love so much.

I just graduated–I’m going to keep saying that until the truth actually sets in–and with graduating, I wished a lot of special people good luck with their next adventure. Medical school in Kentucky. Graduate school in Georgia. Missions in the Middle East. Teaching in Colombia. You get the idea.

Leading up to the big day, I had countless conversations with friends that went something along the lines of “I can’t wait to get out of here! I’m so excited to start (fill in the blank with their next step). Can you believe we finally made it?!” And I sat there nodding along with a smile, because my next step wasn’t taking me very far.

I chose to stay. A few days before graduation I was offered my dream job. It just happened to be at the exact same school with the exact same department I had been working with for most of my undergraduate career. This job also gave me the opportunity to get my masters…in the same subject I had been studying for the last four years. As everyone was preparing to depart for the ends of the earth, I was preparing to invest even more deeply in the same community I had come to know so well. I was thrilled, but I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to express this thrill to others.

With graduation comes the pressure to move on to new things. You see, leading up to the big day I also had some conversations with friends that went along the lines of “I feel like I should do something different, but I really just want to stay where I have community. Is it wrong to stay here because I have connections? What if I am just staying here because it is comfortable? I have a good job lined up, but what if there is something better that I am ignoring because it is far away?”

Graduation is the time to start new adventures, but I think we are being foolish if we say adventure has to be far away.

My next step is an adventure. Again, I am someone that loves thoughts of airplanes and mountains and weird foods, but now I am also someone that believes it is possible to adventure near.

Investing in a community is adventure. Taking on a new role with more responsibilities is adventure. Diving into one’s studies is adventure.

I’m not one to argue that staying in your comfort zone is a good thing, but I also don’t think that the only way to get out of your comfort zone involves moving around the world. It is absolutely possible to step out of your comfort zone through daily actions–seek friendships that challenge you, do your job with excellence, ask the big questions–this is adventure too.

So friends, don’t limit yourself, but also don’t be afraid to adventure near, because you never know what discoveries that might hold.

 

 

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Rest

Rest is important, but rest is hard.

I’m coming off of a year with very little rest. Seriously, very little rest. We are talking about no more than 6 hours of sleep most nights, being with people from 7am to 12pm, taking classes and working and teaching. I was busy, but I was happy. I was also dreaming of rest.

Candles. Books. Finally enough sleep. Crafts. Friends. Rest.

I just graduated college. I’m home for a few weeks and I am sitting here amidst an abundance of rest. I’ve been reading and sleeping. I even started reupholstering a chair today (I’ve never done that before, but it sounded like a good idea and I have the time, so why not?). I’m doing anything and everything to fill my days with rest. But I am sitting here restless. I don’t like it.

Why do I feel the need to make my day busy with “restful” activities? Oh the irony.

Why is real rest so hard?

…Questions you ask yourself when you have the time.

Well I can tell you from my restful musings that rest is hard because we don’t really know how to do it. We live in a time that honors the busy, the achievers, the people who never waste a second of their day. I am a part of this. Side track for a second–I was in class a few months back and my professor said something along the lines of “I really am a better person when I’m busy.” That resonated with me. I truly do feel best when I am doing, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, especially if there is purpose in what we are doing (this makes me want to go into a whole other conversation on purpose, but I’ll save that for another day).

All of this being said, my point is this. While there is purpose in what we do, we must also realize that there is purpose in the rest that comes after doing. Sure, it’s easy to see the results of our doing, but rest is where some of the greatest changes can occur.

Times of rest are when we get the chance to reflect–to look deep into ourselves, to dive into beliefs, to dream, to reevaluate and work through things that we don’t like. Of course, reflection is rarely comfortable. It’s much easier to stay busy, to avoid thinking because thinking can be scary.

But it’s good.

Rest is what keeps priorities in check; busy schedules rarely do that. Rest has purpose and it also teaches us about our purpose. If we feel purposeless in the season of waiting, what then are we drawing our sense of purpose from? Things to think about.

So “embrace the rest” I say to my antsy, impatient, restless self. The rest I take now can only prepare me better for the joyfully busy seasons to come. The rest of now can only help me to see purpose in all the seasons.