The Expanded Definition of Adventure

A smoke-obscured sun hovers over waves spanning across the beach at Ocean Shores, Washington.

The majority of my intended posts over the last couple of years have remained in the drafts category for one reason or another, but that cycle ends today. Most of the hesitation I’ve had with posting has come from the general indecisiveness of what I want this blog to be. Is it an adventure blog? If so, what do I do if I’m not adventuring? The majority of my last year has been spent indoors, as I’m sure many of you can relate, and the years prior were riddled with their own challenges that got in the way of being outdoorsy; mental health, physical health, and general life curveballs do not always lend themselves to helping someone be their most adventurous, carefree self. Luckily, despite all extenuating circumstances, I have finally found myself in a mindset to be the wanderer/adventurer etcetera that I would like to be. Unfortunately, it has come at a time when the weather is shifting and most of my preferred outdoor activities involve me remaining warm.

So, if once again I am at a point where I can’t always fulfill the expectations of the typical definition of “adventure”, how will I write about my adventures? The answer is simple: I just need to expand my definition of adventure.

In an age where a simple trip to the store can be an adrenaline-inducing activity, it seems that the adventurous thrill of navigating the unknown has infiltrated even the most mundane activities. No, this doesn’t mean I’ll be writing a post every time I decide I need something at Trader Joe’s, but it does mean that I’ll be writing more about personal, everyday things. In the end, isn’t that where the real adventure lies?

In this year alone I have been through a breakup, moved, been in two (not my fault) car incidents that, though they left me (very thankfully) physically uninjured, required the replacement of the entire left side of my car, and lost my job voluntarily due to involuntary circumstances. However, I have also completed a certificate course in Professional Technical Writing from the University of Washington, started freelance writing, worked heavily on my mental health with a therapist and am beginning to really experience the results (despite the bonus trauma from the second car incident), and have found my creativity and zest for learning and growth again. I am currently working towards learning InDesign and Illustrator and am luckily in a position to apply for jobs that are in-line with my career and personal goals. Despite all the setbacks, I have arrived in a strange, unexpected place of, I wouldn’t say “calm”, but definitely of rest. I’ve found a nice rock to sit on halfway up the hill to reflect and appreciate how far I’ve come and plan my route to the next lookout.

I do want to add the disclaimer that this isn’t to say it’s all been positive, and I definitely don’t want to exude the message that you have to find positivity in the worst situations. You don’t, some things just suck and we have to acknowledge and let ourselves feel that. If you disagree, look up the term “toxic positivity”. We are not here to invalidate, deny, or minimize experiences, mmkay? But I myself have felt the bad feels and am currently at a place where I am at peace with it. Will I be at this place tomorrow? It’s hard to say, healing is not a linear path. But, as of this writing, I’m resting on a nice rock.

Finally being at this place of pause has made me realize one thing: this year has been quite the adventure, and I barely left my apartment!… which makes it that much more impressive the amount of car incidents I’ve had. But, if this much experience and growth can come from a year where the majority of my human interactions have been through Zoom and the majority of my outdoor time has been walking around my apartment complex and making friends with the local ducks, then perhaps there are adventures in there worth mentioning, too. So, I guess I’ll start mentioning them.

Note: As I begin to post more frequently, I will be adding content warnings to let readers know if there are topics discussed they may find upsetting. I did not add one to this post due to the generalized nature of the information, but if I go more in-depth, there will be a disclaimer. I have also disabled comments as of right now to minimize the effect of outside opinions on the content and frequency of my writing. I appreciate your understanding.

Katrina Charles is a musician, writer, wanderer, adventurer, etc. currently living in Seattle, Washington. When she’s not doing the above activities, she enjoys paddleboarding, remembering to wear her fitbit, drawing, designing, and trying new things.