My friends and I part ways.
“Take care!” we tell each other.
I suppose we say these things for many different reasons – most of the time we don’t even think about the meaning behind the words. They are, after all, fairly standard ways of saying good-bye, and I imagine at the heart of it is the desire to communicate how much we appreciate each other.
I love you and can’t wait to see you again soon. Don’t do anything stupid. I hope you stay healthy and accident-free.
The other night, as we parted ways with dear friends who we might not see again for quite some time, they shouted out through the night.
I shouted back.
And the irony of those words became achingly apparent. Because so many of us live that life. The safe life. The controlled life. The comfortable life.
If I would have taken those words to heart years ago, that simple request to “be safe,” Maile and I never would have moved out of our house and taken a four-month, cross-country trip. We certainly never would have crossed the Teton Pass in our big blue bus (and lost our brakes). We wouldn’t have hit the road when I didn’t have any long-term income lined up. I wouldn’t have turned down a job while living in my parents’ basement.
Living a safe life would have stripped the last nine months of so many incredible experiences. We never would have taken the cross-country trip that led to a new friendship that in turn led to an invite to blog in Sri Lanka. We never would have looked into the opportunity to purchase a house that instead led to something way better (more on that in the coming days). I never would have had the opportunity to help so many people share their stories.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little security. A little comfort. We each thrive under varying levels of stability or the lack thereof. But if your entire life is dedicated to maintaining security and comfort, if you wake up in the morning determined to further shore up the walls of your castle, you are missing out on a lot.
* * * * *
I’m trying to think of new words to use when saying good-bye to friends. Words that better reflect my own experience of not always taking the safe path.
“Do something courageous and ridiculous!”
“Here’s to your next adventure!”
How do you sign off? More important, what’s waiting for you beyond the “Do Not Enter” sign?