A Life of Adventure Impossible to Have

It’s back. 

The restlessness.

I almost thought I was cured.

I came back from an amazing two months of cycling across Europe and I finally felt content.

I was happy just recovering from the after-pains, relaxing and reading a book, watching my crappy reality television shows.

I found pleasure cooking for myself and for my family at home after two months of eating at restaurants.

I was enjoying testing out my general fitness by going back to the gym and by trying to run again. I discovered that I had great lower body strength, I ran 5km faster than I ever had before, my cardio was going strong, but I have zero upper body strength, my hamstrings aren’t stretching the way they used to, my knees make crunching sounds whenever I go up stairs, and I feel lots of pain all over my body after a normal workout at the gym.

I’ve been back for 19 days. It’s only been 19 days. And I feel – again – that something significant is missing from my life.

I need purpose. I need a project. I need to be doing something. But not just anything. I need something I can be passionate about again.

Is it unemployment that is making me feel this way? I have had jobs that have kept me feeling extremely fulfilled. I have also had at least one job that had me not wanting to wake up in the morning. I don’t think it is having work per se that gives me that sense of fulfillment. Rather, it is the feeling that I am doing something I love.

I know what I love. I love writing. I love travelling. I love eating good food. I love observing people and listening to them. I love helping people solve their problems.

But I can’t think of a writing project that can keep me inspired for long.

Travelling requires money and leaving behind obligations so I can’t do it constantly.

It’s Ramadan now, so I’m fasting, and although I enjoy cooking I definitely do not want to have a cooking project. I’d rather eat good food than cook it.

I’m stuck in middle-of-nowhere England where I have no friends to listen to. Sitting on a park bench in middle-of-nowhere England to observe people is fun when done every now and then but I’m not going to turn it into an every day activity.

Solving people’s problems needs people to get in touch with me for help. That actually does happen every now and then. And it is the greatest feeling in the world to be able to lend someone a listening ear even when I might not have solutions to their problems. I’d open a virtual problem-solving office for people if I had any real expertise in that area. But I don’t. All I have is good intentions.

There are some things I could do.

I could learn a new language. I’d rather learn one by spending a few months where they speak that language so I can enjoy using it in everyday life.

I could finally take classes in Kung Fu; something I’ve fantasized about since I was a child. I’d rather learn Kung Fu somewhere like China where I can live the experience.

I am definitely not getting any more degrees or certifications. I spent a ridiculous amount of my husband’s money to become a certified diving instructor, and before that a ridiculous amount of my own money to become certified enough to take diving instructor courses, and I have done absolutely nothing with that certification since. My excuse is that I’m in the UK and the water is just way too cold for me to enjoy teaching anyone how to scuba dive here. I already have a B.Sc. in medicine and an MA in journalism. Despite that, I am struggling to find work in the UK. So fuck degrees. Finding a suitable job is actually about your connections. And yes. I am just a little bit bitter because I feel I am highly skilled but incapable of finding work I would actually want to do for a salary I would actually feel is worth my time.

My husband tells me that my problem is that I only want to do what I enjoy. My response is that I would rather be poor and jobless than rich but in a job that does not fulfill me.

Am I spoiled? Lazy? Depressed? Crazy? Weird? Unique?

I want to be back cycling on the road again. I don’t want to go out for a two-hour ride. I find the thought of that incredibly boring. I want another adventure. I want to start out from somewhere in the morning, not sure where I’ll end up in the evening. I want to push myself and to test my limits of endurance. I want to see and to experience new things. I want that feeling of extreme anxiety over the unknown.

How do I reconcile myself with this incredibly difficult personality I have? What do I need to do to be able to go through the motions of “normal life” in the time between my great adventures?

How do I figure out what this thing is that is missing that I so long to find?

 

14 comments

  1. I share many of your feelings. I too love to write but have never found a way to make a living at it. I too have had difficulty find meaningful work over the years. Work that I loved and was fully committed to. It is a struggle. And, it never ends. I am at a different stage of life than you looking to retirement and wondering what that might look like.

    I have a suggestion for you. I am a business developer and there is a great need for writers to create compelling on-line content for websites, company blogs and social media platforms. Most organizations do not have the time and skills to do create good content on an ongoing basis. They contract it out to people that are good at writing, understand their customers and prospects and, like their products or service. I would suggest you find a company you like, a company you can identify with and approach them.
    I would also suggest you use LinkedIn more. It is the way into some of these organizations. If they have an on-line strategy, they will have a LinkedIn Company Page and accounts for their key people.

    Good luck and don’t despair. You are a story teller – I enjoyed reading of your adventure across Europe – and companies out there need good story tellers.

    1. One thing I have discovered about myself, PedalWorks, is that I find it very difficult to do biased writing. I come from a journalism background. The result is that I have a strong tendency towards writing things the way they are, rather than the way we want other people to think they are. Writing for companies would kill my very inner soul.

      1. I wonder about that. If you found an organization that you identified with it may not be so difficult. Maybe not in the corporate sphere, maybe a non profit with a cause you like.

  2. Oh dear, sounds to me like a bad case of ‘Post Adventure Stress Disorder’, I get it after trekkers in the Alps or wherever or after a solo walk. There’s only one cure for me and that’s to start planning my next adventure. Good Luck.

  3. As I’m sure you know, you are not the only one struggling with such feelings, and I have to say, it’s nice to read somebody else’s thoughts on a matter that is very prominent in my life at the moment.
    I am very relieved to hear you don’t just take that whats coming to you and keep searching for something you really love. I’m at that point in life where you have to make those decisions that determine the rest of your life. And I just don’t get around making them.
    At first I was like, wtf dude, make them already, don’t be a jobless bum. But after a while I realized that it’s a good thing we don’t just take the first job that comes our way.
    A lot of people just follow the way of life they think is best for them, like they have been told by countless movies or advertisements. But to find the way of life that really is the best for you, that takes some effort.
    And it’s by looking from this point of view, that I realized it’s a good thing I that I’m thinking about these things. Okay, they keep me up at night and they can really get me down, but hey, the next adventure is just around the corner. And when you’re done with that, you are a little wiser and you can start planning the next adventure.
    So don’t look at it from a negative point of view, try to look it as your way to becoming the person you really are … Sounds cheesy, I know.

  4. Honestly telling, this sounds so like me! I am girl who enjoys cycling, did masters in Journalism and Mass communications and have a creative bend towards writing. But FUCK degrees is what I feel at this point in life. I think the problem with me is related to contentment. We dream everything, want something and get nothing😀 But then just think simple, life isn’t that bad and the thought is good for happiness!

  5. There is only one thing that will satisfy every longing in everyone’s heart. We were designed by the Creator of the universe to be in deep, personal relationship with him. Without that relationship, we feel empty, unfulfilled, incomplete. He has such joy and peace to offer us. Unfortunately, the Creator of the universe, the Lord God, lives in unapproachable light. Anyone getting too close would be fried by his glory. Fuck! As you might say. Because, you see, anything impure cannot withstand his presence.

    So . . . we might think, God has made himself a fine mess, He wants relationship with us but by his own rules, if a person sins, there has to be punishment. In this case annihilation. Most people just live without the relationship, complain about the emptiness, fill it up with busy-ness and stop thinking about the consequences. All the while God is lonely for us.

    But someone has made a way for us to enter right into God’s heart. The Son of God volunteered to become a man, came to earth and took the punishment for us. Now, all we have to do is say yes to what he did and all his purity is transferred to us. Then we find that the God of inapproachable light is as real and approachable as Jesus of Nazareth. He loves to listen to us, feel with us, and give us peace and joy. We go together to the throne of God to worship and to present our prayers for the wrongs we see around us.

    Then we can live with a sense of purpose, with joy in partnering with the the One True Living God, the One Who can hear our complaints and actually do something about them. You see, God the Creator is also God the Father. Not only does He have power over everything, whether we believe it or not, but He is a good, good Father who wants to see his sons and daughters happy and satisfied. Jesus also lived as a man to model for each of us a life lived as a child of the God of the universe. He asked and He received.

    Why don’t you try directing a question to Jesus, just inside of you, and see what happens?What could it hurt?

  6. I assume you have volunteered for an organization that you passionately believe in its cause…to do this while you figure out your next plunge.

  7. I see what You mean. I’ve been to this place too many times and it seems that I’m stuck there now. Again. The worst feeling when you’re longing for changes but feel to weak to make a move. Isn’t it that You’re aware that You are indeed able to do big, achieve a lot if you find this something that would fulfill You?
    It is good to hear that I’m not alone in my struggles. However, I wish You all the best. I hope You wake up one day and think ‘this is exactly where I wanna be’. Take care

  8. I totally understand, I’m going through that right now its been fun & rough. Seriously, I can weigh both sides to this subject like I’m sure you can too, your such a beautiful spirit, with uncanny abilities, one being a story tell-er. As far as the experience goes LIVE, they go away because you will only get stronger, something I’m tell myself everyday. Love & Light to you & Happy Ramadan!

  9. The equation is probably not as difficult as you imagine it to be Nadia. It just requires that you ask some difficult questions. Firstly, refer back to that hierarchy of human needs we’ve probably all been come across at some point in our education. If you can tick all the boxes, and you probably can, you need to ask the same questions of those around you. What gives them fulfilment/meaning/happiness (or a measure thereof)? Having one’s own family is a big one i.e. a loving partner and your own kids. You’ve said nothing of this so I am only speculating here. The VAST majority of people settle for one of the simple answers but it is also true that for a minority a meaningful life only came about through casting these ‘norms’ aside and doing something radically different. Only you can come to that realisation. Either way you will have to be accountable to yourself and those you love. It’s ok. I’m also in that place.

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