Sunday, November 23, 2014


You know those "Visited States" maps going around on Facebook? Well, here's mine:

Let me tell you about this map. I recently saw an ex-boyfriend's map on Facebook, and I chuckled to myself a bit (and maybe rolled my eyes) because my map is a lot more pink than his map. In fact, the number of states I've been to is nearly double the number he's been to.

Why is this remarkable?

Let me take you back to the day this ex-boyfriend and I broke up. He said I wasn't adventurous enough. Not only did that hurt, it was confusing. What in the world did he mean by that? I guess I should've asked him to operationalize the word "adventurous," but from a couple of other things he said, I gathered that to him, adventurous meant "sporty," and "well-traveled." Still, this didn't really make sense. Sure, I don't play any of the traditional American team sports, but I do like to hike, raft, paddleboard, row, and occasionally climb a rock wall. What did he mean???

When I told my friend Casey about the breakup, he said something like, "He said that? Really??? You're one of the most adventurous people I know. You're always open to new intellectual ideas, and you genuinely listen to other points of view, even though you already have a strong set of beliefs."

It was one of the greatest compliments anyone has ever given me, and it lifted me up during a time when I felt awful. More importantly, it opened my mind to what being adventurous really is. I don't know why it never occurred to me before . . . I'm constantly forcing myself into uncomfortable situations and awkward conversations and unfamiliar intellectual territory. In that sense, I'm actually quite adventurous.

Also. Let's review the last seven months of my life:

  • I moved to an economically-challenged state for love.
  • I moved halfway across the country to start a new job in a place where I knew no one.
  • I've been exploring California mostly on my own. I've been to beaches and mountains all by myself.
  • I went to a concert by myself last week because a) I don't know anybody around here who likes that band, and b) it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing.

Every time I see pictures of friends in faraway lands and every time I hear of people doing daring things, such as skydiving, I think of what my friend Casey said. I think about how adventure is more than taking physical risks. It's about being bold, being brave, and trying new ways to think and do.

Thing I'm thankful for: cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. They're wonderfully terrible.


Blogger kyns said...

Ex-Boyfriends are the worst. The only thing they're good for is helping you realize what you DON'T want in a partner. Other than that, they can kick rocks.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

States I've been to that you have not:HI, WA, OR, NV, MT, NE, IA, WI, MO, and MD

States you've been to that I have not: IN, OH, MI, NC, SC, TN, KY, AL, AR, and OK

First to Alaska wins.

10:39 PM  
Blogger cardlady said...

Great post. Im glad you are adventurous.
Love Mom
A fellow adventurer

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Your brother, Blake said...

Visiting twice as many states as your ex-boyfriend is not remarkable. Nor is speaking ill of ex-boyfriends. You're better than this.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think she was speaking ill of an ex-boyfriend. It seemed like the post was about adventure and how she discovered the hurtful words of an ex were untrue.

5:42 PM  

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