I haven’t posted in a while because I felt drained from the last one. The comments! They were all so insightful, and thoughtful and philosophical. I am honored by your words, your deepness of mind and spirit. I’m still contemplating how I want to take my advocacy efforts forward. But I have decided that I will, in some fashion. Because of something Fertility Challenged in Florida said.
Basically, we both agree that the confidence and swagger of our youth have deserted us. In my case, part of that is maturity, the responsibilities of being a parent, being knocked down enough by life, infertility, relatives. What used to give me confidence and swagger was adventure.
I was trying to remember back to when I first felt the thirst of adventure. It really started with watching the “Indiana Jones” movies. I was studying high school geography, and the places we studied: India, Africa, Egypt! I imagined flying from Mumbai to Shanghai, following the dotted lines over the map, like in the movies. I probably watched “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” every weekend. (I had no dates, I was a late bloomer.) I bought the cherry red lipstick and nail polish that Kate Capshaw wore in that movie. (And yes, Karen Allen was a much better heroine. Marion Ravenwood kicked ass. Kate was just a bit more glamorous, fashion-wise.) School was so confining, and I dreamt of meeting a man like this:
Maybe a bit less sweaty.
I finally travelled Europe for two months with a friend after college, and boy did that trip make me feel alive. There were no Egyptian asps, but we did get trapped in all-male bar during the Running of the Bulls, and I literally had to punch my way out of the place, or else we would have suffered an evil fate. We dodged thieves to keep our treasures (over-priced coats and scarves bought in the marketplace in Florence), tried to translate Spanish, German, Greek, Dutch, and of course, there was my nemesis: my ex-boyfriend who was traveling the same circuit as us. He was to be avoided, out-foxed and out-maneuvered at every treacherous pass, as he was out to steal something as valuable to me as the Ark: my heart.
When I finally met my Darcy, he was even more adventurous than I: in 1994, he traveled to Croatia and Albania by himself to see what the conflict looked like first hand. He walked down streets with land mines. He was almost shanghai’d into a nefarious group of smugglers in Morocco. He was my very own Indiana Jones.
Together, we lived in London and travelled extensively. He did investigative journalism and ferreted out similar scandals detailed in “The Girl Who Played With Fire”. For our honeymoon, we stayed in a tent where during the midnight hour, a leopard decided to eat its dinner right next to our zipper. I’ll never forget those noises.
You can argue that those adventures could continue after marriage and kids, but if you look at Hemingway, Fitzgerald or any of the famous ex-pats, their marriages were less than stable and their kids, traumatized.
So how do you keep adventure alive when you have kids, but are not dead? A thirst for adventure is necessary to keep feeling alive.
Back to Indiana Jones, his adventures were about fighting the good fight: mostly trying to prevent the Nazis from gaining unspeakable power.
I think that if I pursue the right type of advocacy, it may spark my adventure for life. Which is something I want to pass on to my children. We grew up knowing that my father was almost murdered by Jim Jones, that he had to take a stealth journey to visit Salman Rushdie complete with Fatwa spies trailing his moves. And he barely made it out of his interview with Barbara Streisand alive.
So I will be visiting/revisiting the advocacy debate, attempting to find the best way for me to fight the good fight. With adventure, and maybe even a bull-whip.