I have two hearts beating in my chest.
The first is my writer heart. She craves quiet and home and routine. She is protective of her time and declines all invitations. She avoids distractions and stress. She loves the sound of rain, the particular quality of light through windows, and every variety of tea.
Her work, her life ambition, is the traversal of a vast, uncertain inner landscape.
She is strong, especially now that I am so close to the end of another story. But she cannot survive on her own.
Her sibling heart is adventurer. My adventurer heart craves escape and open road and impulsive decisions. She longs for difference: different places, different people, different experiences. She loves mountains and wilderness and driving with no destination in mind.
Her occupation is the wild and willful exploration of the outer landscape.
She often grows small under the weight of her ambitious sister heart, but she never dies completely. There can be no writer heart without adventurer, gathering experiences and details and stories to tell of. There can be no adventurer heart without writer to make sense of what I see.
But they cannot grow at the same time. I cannot write while I am adventuring. I cannot adventure while I am writing.
There are some small things that satisfy both hearts, and I have learned to seek them out.
Running with my puppy, tromping through the bush, yoga outside at sunset, are all joyful expressions of my adventurer heart. They also fit neatly into my writer’s routine, waking my body and sharpening my mind before my evening work.
Finding and capturing inspiration: photography, Pinterest, Instagram. Both hearts grow in the presence of beauty. It’s a cough drop, a salve, and it does not cure me, but it satisfies the ache for a moment.
My adventurer heart is ill. She yearns for air and trees and maps and escape. I turned 25 a week ago and I gave her the whole day. I ran, I swam in the ocean, I hiked up a mountain and I ate at a different restaurant for each meal. I laughed with friends and wore a new dress, let myself be surprised and stayed up later than was wise. I wrote something wild and crazy and new.
I whisper to her in quiet moments: soon. Soon my writer heart will be satisfied and I will give her more than a day. I will pack up my husband and puppy and drive somewhere I’ve never been before. I will breathe deeply and live largely and love a world I’ve only watched through windows. Soon.
But for now I search out sweet little diversions to satisfy both hearts. I have a new project brewing, something that rose up completely unexpectedly and has come to fill all my waking thoughts. It was not what I planned to write next, but I’ll follow it for a spell. And if it leads me to adventure, all the better.
I have two hearts.
I am writer, adventurer.