I recently read through every blog post that I have written in the past seven years – each misspelled word, incorrect punctuation and overused exclamation mark reminding me of the time I spent typing from a cell phone on a hostel bed or to the methodical sway of a sailing ship.
It was encouraging to see the ways that my own understanding of myself, of the world, and of God have developed alongside, and oftentimes through, my growth as a writer. Though as I observed the blossoming of my own voice – particularly in the past two years – I could not help but mourn the loss of travel that my writing entailed.
As a senior in high school, I wrote a paper entitled, “I Believe in Adventure.” I was determined to ceaselessly live out a love for new experiences. In those first four years out of high school, this involved filling the pages of my passport with visas and stamps, getting chased by a hippo and bailing a canoe using hand-molded pots, climbing a volcano and holding a monkey, sailing high seas and riding trains across Scandinavia.
At 22, I decided in one, anxious-ridden weekend to move across the country to Boston. I had planned to remain in Chicago after undergrad graduation, but on a spring break excursion I opted to pick up my midwestern life and follow my family Northeast. In the three years since moving, I’ve hardly left for more than a long weekend away.
My life right now is boring, I thought as I reminisced on all my time abroad.
In the years I spent traveling, planning new travels, and travelling again, I assumed that living abroad would inevitably be a part of my future. But as I have settled into the rhythms of adulthood – in a job that encourages vibrant creativity, in a city full of diversity, in a home abounding with hospitality – I’ve come to acknowledge that America is where I belong.
Nonetheless, reading through past posts revived the itch to explore.
Just as I was prepared to start searching for international plane tickets – an exact destination unknown – I stumbled upon the very first post I wrote for my second blog, Cupcakes with Kendall.
Reflecting on the relative boringness of my life in that moment, I’d decided that the lack of obvious adventure was the ideal time to begin a blog.
“’This is the day the Lord has made.’
The verse from Psalm 118 repeated through my head, reminding me of a drama presentation I took part in last April.
The show revolved around five separate adults: isolated, relating the misery of their somber existence. They spoke of the monotony of each day, the seeming purposelessness of it all. There was one line repeated dozens of times throughout the show, one phrase that tied together the dismal tales.
‘This is the day the Lord has made? The Lord? Today?’
The question reverberated through the black-boxed theater.
As the character’s lives reached a point of utter hopelessness, a man ran in from the back of the theater announcing the excitement of the message of Christ. Margarita and I came out with him, our dancing representing the excitement and joy that comes from a life with Christ. As the show carried on, the characters found freedom and hope.
‘This is the day the Lord has made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it.’
The Lord has created this day, this phase of life, specifically for me, and I am supposed to rejoice and be glad in that. I might not be sailing the Atlantic or counseling high school girls or living in a hut, studying East African culture. But today is still a day brimming with adventure and excitement, because the Lord of the entire universe created THIS day. So I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
I am still committed to a life of adventure. In fact the very future I envisioned as I dreamt with God on a dock in Benin is coming to fruition here in Boston. But this adventure does not look quite like what I aspired to in that high school paper. It does not look like traversing suspended bridges in Ghana or dining at the president’s home in Cotonou. It does not look like birding in Tanzania or baking cinnamon rolls in a wood-fired oven.
It looks like rejoicing in the day that the Lord has made. In April snow and sourdough bread, in freshly baked pita and the first round of rhubarb. In a new pair of earrings and a short haircut. In long conversations and coffee with friends.
Adventure today is hidden in moments of stillness overlooking the sea. In a book of poetry, in research and writing. In going to class and to work and to sleep.
This is the day the Lord has made. So I will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day the Lord has made.