I’ve got a confession to make. I am not the badass woman I have led you to believe. At least not lately.
Contrary to the kitesurfing, cocktail imbibing, bikini wearing persona that defines an Island Girl (well, this one anyway), I’ve gotten into a bit of a funk. I’ve become boring. Even bland.
So what happened? I slipped into a dull routine. Fell into habits that didn’t really mesh with my guiding principles. Started following the easiest path rather than my heart. In other words, my life lately has not felt particularly authentic or honest.
And…a second confession…it’s been easy to do. Too damn easy.
After all, brewing that second cup of coffee or spending another hour scrolling through social media or mindlessly binge watching another series on Netflix is far, far easier than putting yourself into a situation that may challenge you or take you out of your comfort zone. You know, the shit that makes you grow as a person. The stuff that makes you interesting.
And you can float along that way for a long, long time. And convince yourself that everything is fine. That you’re OK with the current state of affairs. Even though it may not be fine. Or OK. Or even acceptable. Even when all signs point to your mind and body morphing into something unrecognizable.
But, if you’re lucky, one day you get a wake-up call. Well, figuratively anyway, since in 2018, I’m not sure anyone actually calls each other anymore. Do they?
Anyway, my wake-up “call” happened a few weeks ago. Via Facebook. Of course, right?
It was a message from a friend reminding me about an earlier conversation we had over dinner and wine. One where I agreed that hiking early on a Saturday morning sounded fun. (Obviously this sporty decision was influenced by some good Malbec).
So while the reminder message wasn’t totally out of the blue, it was met with mixed feelings. After all, lately my Saturday mornings have been devoted to a lot more coffee sipping and internet browsing than digging out my tennis shoes and working up a sweat. But, as it turned out, the short missive from my friend ended up being the most inspiring message I could have received. I just didn’t realize it at the time.
At the moment of its arrival, my mind went straight into excuse mode. Hmmm…what could I say (or type, as the case may be)? Possible options included:
- The wind was blowing, so I’d rather go kiting (even though in reality I’d be sitting in my pajamas mindlessly adding items to my Amazon cart all morning).
- My hiking partner (a/k/a husband) wasn’t feeling up to it (yes, always better if you can pin your “no” on somebody else).
- I had a deadline for work (the perfect writer’s excuse…every time).
But instead of making an excuse, I just replied with “yes.” And that was it. Full commitment to an early morning meet-up to explore an unknown peak in the rugged north of my island. Definitely, no second cup of coffee was happening that day.
But I went. And I had a great time. A few scrapes and bruises were acquired (hiking razor-sharp ancient limestone cliffs is quite different than the lush trails of the central Cascades…who knew?!). I also managed to snap some inspiring pics and make great memories, too. Plus it was fun to see a side of my adopted island that not too many people get to see.
As it turns out, the “trail” we were exploring was not a trail at all. Just a towering rock formation littered with spiny cactus balls and the aforementioned razor-sharp limestone peaks. In fact, the park ranger who greeted us that morning for entrance to the island’s national park did his best to grumpily dissuade us from attempting to even approach this particular area, let alone climb it. He ended our convo with the ominous parting words “nobody is going to come rescue you up there.” Inspiring.
But the whole experience, from picking our way carefully up (and down) peaks and plateaus covered with thorny overgrowth to the extremely bumpy ride through the rest of the park (which is why I don’t go to the park very often…ok, ever), ended up being great fun. The views from the top were outstanding, the ruins scattered along the coastline were cool to explore & the hidden bays and beaches were all fun to discover and photograph. Plus, now I can definitively state that I’ve stood on million-year-old limestone heaved up from the sea.
But beyond the immediate rush (and the Insta-worthy images) of doing something new (especially challenging on a tiny bit of land in the middle of the sea), that little Saturday experience did a lot more. It awoke the adventurer in me. The one who is now challenging herself to get out and discover even more hidden nooks and crannies on this crazy rock I call home. Or at least break up my routine. Try something new on a regular basis. Get back to doing what I love on the daily.
Because the wrong routines will slowly kill you. Or at least quietly bury the best you. And it is not a good thing, my friends! Having the best you buried.
Because how can you be your best badass self under those circumstances? You can’t. And life is not nearly as fun when your inner badass doesn’t come out to play.
Whether that means you’re out exploring nature at 7:30 in the morning against the park ranger’s wishes or enriching your soul in that museum you’ve been wanting to check out or finally joining that art class you’ve always wanted to try. Now is the perfect time to actually do whatever it is you’ve been dreaming about doing but never actually get around to doing.
After all, Amazon Prime will still be there tomorrow. As will Netflix and all their original series. Even Grace & Frankie (a must-watch if you haven’t already). And we could all do with a little less caffeine in our lives anyway, couldn’t we?
So I’m making it a priority to get out and explore more often. Make new adventures. Even if it is just on my own rock, or even in my own neighbourhood. Because no badass woman conquered the universe while shopping on Amazon. Not even if she had Prime.
And I’m inviting you to do so, too. Reclaim your inner badass, that is. In whatever way floats your boat. Because there are fun adventures waiting for you around every corner, no matter where you happen to be. You just have to make an effort to look. And say yes to something new.
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I’m a writer living on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. Originally from the U.S., I followed my heart to the tropics in 2011 at the wizened age of 43. Since then, I’ve been blogging to inspire and entertain. I love kitesurfing, a good gin & tonic, and corgis.
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