The truth about failed adventures

You may be protesting by now. El, your failed adventures all have a silver lining.  Life is not always like that.

I know.

More often than not, failed adventures take quite a bit of distance and hindsight to be enjoyed.  And sometimes, even time doesn’t fix them.  For example, I once gave a friend a gift box full of homemade cookies.  While she was reading the card, she dropped the entire box onto the wet pavement of the parking lot.  There was nothing to be done.  And it felt an awful lot like a metaphor for our friendship.

The truth is that failed adventures can really bite.  Especially those around relationships.

I had RSVP’d to a family Christmas party, proudly boasting a Plus One.  On the day of the party, Oz couldn’t join me.  So I was, in fact, Minus One.  And everyone seemed to sense the absence, asking about him.  They all seemed to notice that I was minus my Plus One.  Which, if I do the math, left me as nothing, with nothing. And to be honest, that still unsettles me.

The other tricky thing about failed adventures is that if only takes one person to create a failure.  So maybe I am to blame for some of my failed adventures.  And sometimes I perceive my endeavors as having such a massive gravitational pull on me, it feels other worldly.  And I forget the things that truly make my world turn.  I think I forget that I am human. (And a sick one at that).

I was recently presented an opportunity to be reminiscent about something I had but don’t have any more.  By a rule, I don’t compare because I am certain a lot of the world’s misery comes from people comparing the things in their lives to those around them.  But instead I just remembered.  Remembering only made me recall more failed adventures, like the opening night for the zoo’s Christmas lights display, our first concert together, the unanswered texts, and the continual feeling that time is running out.

These memories give me more questions than answers. Is that the way the cookie crumbles?  Will you live your life as a Plus One, Minus One, or nothing?  Which “One” are you?  What things are you orbiting?  What is pulling on you? When do you feel human?  What do you remember when you fall silent?  Do the memories make you smile or sigh?  Is failed the only kind of adventure you get? Is that your choice? 

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3 thoughts on “The truth about failed adventures

  1. Sorry, but how can an adventure fail? The outcome might not be as expected, but isn’t that the usual meat for stories? It’s the intent, followed by the first foot forward, that’s the adventure. Thereafter, it might be the unplanned, the unexpected, probably the unwanted, but not failure. Failure is the sitting and thinking and never doing – unless, of course, the adventure is there in your head, and you’re aiming at out-thinking Einstein.

  2. I don’t know that there is such a thing necessarily as a “failed adventure.” We all fail many times, often many times a day; if you’re not failing, you’re not trying.

    The way I see it, the only regrets one should have are the ones that involve incidents in which one has willfully hurt another or when one has willfully let an opportunity to expand one’s horizons slip away, whether out of complacency, fear, comfort or whatnot. The latter can involve not putting forth your best effort, taking the easy path in life when a little more work could potentially lead to huge dividends, or taking a chance on the unknown once in a while instead of sticking with that which is safe and secure.

    We can be sad about the events of the past, about adventures that didn’t turn out as we had hoped, but we should also take at least a little pride in having dared to be adventurous. Monotony is no way to go through life.

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