The Person Who Took Me on Adventures
June 9, 2023
Ugochi Guchy Kalu (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
I have been around for almost three decades. I have had thrills, thorns, tears, laughter, heart-wrenching sadness, limitless joy, doubts, faith, absolute resolve, one-time incidents, recurring dark moments, friendships, foes, love, deeper love, love-turned hate. I have had all kinds of moments that momentarily summarize my life’s adventure. I have traveled, seen monumental innovations, sat in parks, eaten various meals, met the most amazing people, discarded toxic friendships, fallen flat on my face and stood up seven times from each fall. If this is not the totality of an adventurous life, I wonder what is.
Growing up, I was not allowed to do many things kids my own age would. I was shielded and overly protected from having too much fun, as that was considered dangerous. As a child who came after my parents had lost a baby, I was treated like the “final replacement” product. There was always an instruction to whoever looked after me, there was always a boundary and limits. I can still hear my mom’s instructive voice in my head to this day. “Do not climb the rail, you will hurt yourself, do not shoot the hoops, it will break your waist, do not climb the merry-go-round, you will get a concussion, do not ride the bike outside, you will scar your skin, do not swim, you will drown, do not eat beans, your heart will burn, do not play with boys, they will get you injured.” The “do-nots” were more than the “dos,” and many of these fear factors made no sense whatsoever.
In my teenage years, I became more defiant. I would often try to break the boundaries set to cage my mind from explorations. I would sneak out to play with my mates. Yes, most times, I got home hurt, injured and scared, but sometimes, I got away with it. I was still not entirely risk averse, as the enshrined rules continued to hold me down. I earnestly searched for freedom, for my body, mind and spirit, but the more I tried, the more fear conquered. One day, after falling from a height that my mates climbed unscathed, I concluded that adventure was not my calling. My mom was right after all. I resolved to quit seeking excitement.
Despite my earlier resolutions, my life took a turn when I turned 22. Someone came into my life, rocked it, hung it upside down and left me a completely transformed person. Ethan and I had just started dating and he was completely the opposite of who I was. He was fearless, adventurous, wildly fun and loud. Talk about north and south poles attracting each other, little wonder why we were so compatible. In a few months, he took me on a 360-degree exploration that blew my mind. Every item on my wishlist was fulfilled, like road trips, ziplining across the ocean, traveling to different countries, joy rides, mountain climbing, camping, food and wine tasting, indoor and outdoor games, and fun and semi-lethal activities. They were all on my bucket list, and they were all ticked off. My mind was so eternally stretched by adventures that there was no turning back. Indeed, the purpose of life after all is to live, to taste, to experience to the utmost and to reach out eagerly for new adventures without fear.
Months turned into years, and things continued to evolve, our journey, our relationship and our love. I not only fell in love with the new me, but also with the beautiful human who broke me out of my little shack and opened my eyes to the limitless wonders I could only previously imagine. While enjoying this new journey, I lost myself in the shiny new castle of adrenaline, I lost my quiet times, I lost the inner serenity, and I lost a little bit of common sense as I began to venture into activities, most times thoughtlessly. Then I realized that to be more alive, I had to be less afraid. So, I did. I lost my fear and gained my whole life.
Just like Ethan came into my life and rocked it, my world was once again shaken and wrecked when he left it. Our relationship had run its course. It seemed as though he took away the sun from the sky and smeared gloom all over it. It was dark again; it became quiet. I took another adventure into the dark, bottomless pit of tears. It was a different kind of adventure. It was the opposite of what I had experienced in the moments when he was in it. I continued to wallow in self-hurt, losing my new superpowers of exploration, until I woke up to a moment of pure serendipity, the moment I realized that a mind stretched by adventures never goes back to its original state. I had been stretched!
Truthfully, if happiness is the goal, and it should be, then adventure should be a top priority. To be clear, adventure isn’t hanging off a cliff or climbing mountains. Adventure does not require a certain number of people to be complete. Adventure is an attitude, an eternal resolution, a lifestyle, double audacity and an everyday solemn promise to live, taste, experience and love the world in its entire dimension in whatever form, shape and location it comes.
My name is Ugochi Guchy Kalu. I have been to places that made me realize how small my problems are. I have stepped into the unknown and I am currently living the life of my dreams.
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