August 3, 2009

10/22/08 These things make my heart beat faster...

Some people define themselves by the things that they do. I have known a number of self-proclaimed adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers. These people tend to have a very bold list of things they wish to accomplish in life-jump out of a plane, travel to undeveloped corners of the world, swim with sharks, go on a safari, bungee jump-anything that can be classified as an "adventure."

I sometimes get jealous of these adventure seekers, then realize that I could never convince myself that these types of things would be fun for me. Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Do the far-off countries possibly have a hotel with at least four stars? How can I swim with sharks when I used to wonder as a kid if there were sharks in the deep end of the pool? Isn't The Lion King enough of a safari?

Back in college, I quickly learned that these thrill-seeking adventures were not for me. Wanting so badly to prove what I thought was my adventurous spirit to the world, I, too made a similar list. At the top of my life-list was to learn to fly a plane. I can proudly say that I was able to put a check next to that box. I guess I should also say that I did learn to fly a plane but quit shortly after I soloed, having sufficiently scared myself to death. Did you know that when you get the plane up in the air by yourself, you're the only one that can bring it back down? Rest assured that I did just fine on that flight and all the others, it was simply the adrenaline rush of flying a plane without any safety net that was toxic to me.

I am learning that I define myself more by the person that I am than by the crazy things I might do in life. I am ok if my world seems to be status quo, even if others might find it boring. I know that my life is an adventure of its own proportions. Being a Marine wife, how could it not be? But instead of using my time and resources in order to check some crazy thing off of my life's to-do list, I use them to mature my Christian faith, make my marriage stronger, to cultivate friendships and relationships at our inevitably countless duty stations, to make myself a better person.

These things are what make my heart beat faster. These things keep me on my toes and bring adventure to my life. There might be a place at some point in my life for a good adrenaline rush, but most likely a tiny roller coaster ride will be able to satiate that thirst for thrill.

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