My husband James is a Type A, wind-in-your-face kind of guy. He lives for thrill and adventure. He went bungee jumping at 15. At 25, he traveled around South America for 8 weeks…by himself…twice. In Bolivia, he went sky diving in a plane held together by duct tape and bicycled at 50 mph down the World’s Most Dangerous Road. At 26, he proposed we take a month-long trip to travel around New Zealand, where he proposed on one knee in a gondola floating down the Avon River. At 27, he quit his corporate sales job and opened his own business four months after we exchanged vows. At 31, he bought his first motorcycle three months after we had our first baby. At 33, he became a majority investor in another CrossFit gym. At 34, he proposed we take a year-long, cross-country RV trip as a family, and once again, I said yes. At 35, he sold his first business and started another business one week later.
Yes, James is the exciting one who never lacks an opinion on anything and can charm the socks off a person in the dead of winter. He’s the kind of guy who writes a memoir because people will actually want to read it.
On the other hand, I consider myself more of a cautious adventurer. I studied abroad in England at 20, also visiting Scotland, Ireland and France during my summer overseas. At 23, I took a week-long trip to Lisbon and Portugal with my girlfriends. And yes, at 25, I traveled with James through New Zealand, but I took a month sabbatical from my corporate job, knowing I was returning to a steady paycheck. And I continued working in the corporate world when James opened his CrossFit gym, lending security and stability to even the scales during his foray into self-employement.
As partners in this life, we work because we’re different (not perfect) and our differences bring about balance and betterment. He pushes me out of my comfort zone and I add stability to his life.
When he says, I’m buying a motorcycle, I up our life insurance. When he says, let’s take the boys fishing, I grab their lifejackets. When he says, let’s buy a truck, I make sure all three car seats fit. When he says, let’s take a year-long RV trip, I figure out the details to determine if this dream can become a reality.
And I write all this not to proclaim that I’m boring, but to say that it’s OK to be the one working backstage, out of the lime light. It’s OK to put people before dreams. It’s OK if your people are your dream. It’s OK to pore over the details before setting off on life-changing trips. It’s OK to exercise due diligence before taking a leap of faith.
In essence, it’s OK to be a cautious adventurer. It doesn’t mean we can’t see and do and experience new things. We just do it differently.