I think it began in high school.
When going to Jenna’s sleepover on Friday night with one BFF, four girls you kind of liked, and three girls that really bothered you was the last thing you wanted to do.
When you were in Steph’s basement on a Saturday while you all drank wine coolers and warm beer, getting “wasted” and ending up kissing the wrong guy in Steph’s brother’s bedroom because you couldn’t find anywhere else better.
This is when those four walls that you now call your childhood bedroom began to feel like a box you wanted to get out of. The adolescence life you then lived began to feel slightly like a constraint, as if the four walls you surrounded yourself with were the result of choices you didn’t make and ones you wouldn’t make yourself. Sometimes, you could find yourself feeling stuck in a world that you didn’t create, and you were keen to begin your own.
This is when you grow up a little and enter your 20’s, where life is an adventure. At least, this is what it is supposed to be.
You make some college friends that are just the right amount of wild and completely serious about their futures as you are. You ditch that high school boyfriend that was way too “on and off” that you had the you’re-a-dick speech perfected. And in between chapter readings, you plan via text to your hunnies the BEST weekend you will have, and oh do you ADVENTURE.
You spend most of your weekend hours either drunk and in small clothes, or in the nearest diner, drowning your memories of the toilet-seat-head-pillow and your bad decisions in your bacon, eggs and pancakes.
“WITH a Bloody Mary on the side please.”
A new four walls begin to form. The ones where you feel like the same-old, same-old just isn’t good enough anymore. This is when I told myself I wasn’t ready to stop. I wasn’t ready to let four walls stop me from going anywhere. Your 20’s are this rare stage of your life where you will likely only have four walls stopping you, no balls asking you when you will be home to make him dinner, and an option to make the most of it.
I took every opportunity I could to see more of the world I lived in. I took jobs across the country, I studied abroad, and even at home I managed to join new societies, clubs, and anything that meant meeting new people.
The reactions I received from this type of behaviour started to become quite interesting to me. I began to receive many comments, such as,
“I can’t believe you moved there to work on your own.”
“I wish I could do something like that!”
“How in the world did you get that job?”
It amazed me that so many people truly felt that reaching out of their four walls to try something new was something they couldn’t do, or something they had never imagined. Every person has the decision to change where they work, live, play, imagine and breathe. Every person can be brave, step out of their comfort zone, and reap the benefits of this.
Whether this is talking to a stranger at the table beside you in Starbucks, or flying to Thailand to taste Pho in real-time, I challenge you to take a step out of your four walls.
Now, I’m finding that there will always be a new stage in life and a new four walls and that not all of these walls are bad. Sometimes they are the walls of a new job we worked hard for, or the four walls of the new apartment we landed with our girlfriends, filled with all our favourite couch pillows, wine glasses, bran cereals, and avocados galore.
Although these walls bring us happiness, structure, and some balance to our wonderful and busy lives, I challenge you to keep imagining those possibilities. Keep wondering what is beyond your four walls, keep seeking opportunities to explore and keep learning.
After all, you won’t get anywhere at all if you have four walls and no balls.