"X" Marks the Spot…

I’m finally back from my several weeks of going rogue. The ending of March was simultaneously lovely and full of sorrow. Mike and I seem to have fallen into a comfortable routine of visiting each other throughout the week, and I seem to have assimilated myself pretty well into his family by bribing his father and brother with home cooking.

However, despite the joy these events have brought to my life, the last week of March also harkened the close of yet another chapter in my story. Several days before Easter, the final step in the dissolution – the hearing with the judge – was held and my marriage was officially ended by the authority of Ohio State’s judicial system. I was rather shocked because, once all the parties were assembled at the lawyer’s office, it literally took all of five minutes to end an almost four year partnership. It happened so fast I didn’t have a chance to feel sad; didn’t really have a chance to feel anything. It wasn’t until much later that evening, while I laid awake in bed reviewing the events of the day, that it hit me – I was free. Truly and completely free. As many of you are well aware, however, freedom has its price and the cost of my independence was the loss of my best friend of more than eight years. Despite our differences I still love him, and it kills me to know that I have played a part in his pain. With my whole heart and soul I wish him nothing but all the love and happiness the world has to offer.

Compounding my sadness further, a former family member then passed away not even a week later, and I felt helpless to provide any comfort to those whom I had previously held dear. He was a good man and I will miss him and remember him fondly.

Through all of this I have tried to remind myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, for if I have learned anything over the last eight months it’s that there is no going back. The only way to move on is to move forward. So I have picked up my adventure year banner once again and I am pushing forward into Adventure April!

My birthday is this month, this week actually, and I wanted to have some fun in honor of my twenty-sixth year. Last Sunday the weather was absolutely beautiful, and Mike and I went on my very first adventure for the month – a bona fide treasure hunt!

I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to assume that many of you dear readers have enjoyed the ever entertaining “pirate looking for buried treasure” fantasy at some point during your youth. Or maybe you still dream about it, who knows? Not going to lie, being a pirate would be pretty bad ass… What I am guessing you DON’T know, however, is not only, through the magic of the Internet, can you find clues to hidden treasure, but the cost of doing so is completely free! Yup, you heard me right. It’s a wonderful little activity called “letterboxing” (see the end of this post for more detailed information). I had read about it a couple of years ago in the newspaper and had always wanted to go, but never had anyone to go with. The basic premise of letterboxing is that you can download various “clues” and then follow said clues until you find the hidden container at the end of the trail, which usually contains a hand-carved stamp and a logbook. Once found, you can ink your own personal stamp into the box’s logbook and note your name and the date on which you found it. Then you stamp the letterbox symbol into your own journal as a souvenir, re-hide the box in the same location and, voilà! Someone else can later find the same “treasure” and see that you left your mark.

There are hundreds of letterboxes all over Columbus and the surrounding cities, but there were at least twenty or more hidden out at Greenlawn Cemetery alone, so that is where Mike and I decided to pop our letterboxing cherries. Despite initially  having trouble following the clues, it was incredibly exciting to find our first box. I felt like a kid in a candy store when we opened it up to see what was inside. We went on to find at least a dozen more over the course of four hours, and we didn’t even get to all the ones on the list! We came home hungry, sunburned, exhausted, and pleased as punch that our first letterboxing outing lead to such bountiful results. We are both hooked and are already planning our next adventure for later this week when we are in Hocking Hills. We will also take Mike’s four year old little boy with us at some point because I am sure he will get a kick out of looking for buried treasure. What kid wouldn’t?

I am trying to keep that same childlike sense of wonder and adventure alive this month and not dwell too much on adult worries that are out of my control. It doesn’t do me any good to stress myself out with needless anxiety at the moment. So, in the interest of journeying forward, and in the spirit of this piratey post, I am going to try really hard to remember the following (which I am shamelessly stealing from a Rachel Platten song) –

“Keep your eyes set on the horizon on the line where blue meets blue…”

My awesome hand-carved stamp!

The inside of an actual letterbox.

The horrendous picture Mike took of me because he told me to, “Smile with your whole face!” Thanks 😛

Mike poking around in the bush…

For more information on Letterboxing check out the following websites…