• Madalyn Tavares

Figuring out this life, one adventure at a time

The below post was originally written in 2017, right after two category 5 hurricanes displaced my boyfriend & I (and so many others).


Definition of traverse

traversed; traversing transitive verb 1a :to go or travel across or over b :to move or pass along or through 

What does it mean to “traverse”?

When I first created this blog over 4 ( now over 7) years ago, I wanted to give it a name that would encompass all the topics that I hoped to share, as well as have a coy play-on-words with my last name (Tavares). Little did I know that when I actually got around to devoting some time to my blog, I would literally be traversing through yet another transition – which oddly enough, was my initial inspiration for this outlet.

As the headline says – figuring out this life, one adventure at a time.

The idea for this blog was for it to be a place where I shared the eccentric and quirky happenings of daily island life. A place where I could write about the challenges that have helped shape me into the young woman I am today – a digital literary history of topics and ideas I’ve always wanted to share. A place where hopefully I can help inspire others as they have so inspired me.

Four years later, here I am, finally making a post. I could allow myself to be upset that I didn’t dedicate the time in the past to share the stories that have never stopped gallivanting through my head. I could allow those emotions to solidify the fear that this blog would never leave the scope of my imagination. I could do that, but I won’t. If the past month has taught me anything, it’s that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Everything can change in an instant, so why not do what you love now? As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. We are continually traversing through our stories – growing, learning, loving, crying, laughing and doing it all again.

The definition of traverse includes a sentence to provide an illustration for how to properly use the word. The sentence reads:

Light rays traversing a crystal.

I paused when I read this. I’m always in search of a good metaphor, and this one seemed almost too good to be true. I interpret this as the light rays representing our experience, and the crystal personifying our life. There are many nooks and crannies in a crystal, as there are in life. There are steep inclines that will require us to exert all of our energy. We will encounter gentle slopes and sharp turns, unexpected detours, as well as welcome plains.

When Hurricane Irma and Maria devastated the tiny little rock that I called home, I had to make a hard decision to leave. It was an unexpected detour. Now I, and so many others, must climb up this steep incline and face another new challenge. While many aspects of this scenario are sad, there is something truly beautiful to be said of change. New beginnings. The unknown. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable to the change.

Like the lyrics from one of my all-time favorite songs by Semisonic:

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.

So here I am, traversing through the crystal. Only this time, I am excited, motivated and eager to share this experience and my journey. I don’t know exactly what tomorrow holds, but none of us do, and that only makes tomorrow even more beautiful.

I have officially broken the seal. I plan to share what happens next, as well as reminisce on some of the memories of life in St. Thomas. When I have a kitchen again, I think I’ll post some of my favorite recipes and photos. I might also share the innovative outdoor workout sessions that I encountered and adapted to in St. Thomas.

My hope is that this blog will ultimately become a culmination of experiences, presented in such a way that will inspire dialogue. I am excited to tend to this labor of love. To document the ups and downs, twists and turns. I truly believe that when we allow ourselves to be seen, to be vulnerable, we open the door and allow the beauty to come in. We all have a special and unique story, and this is mine.

With a little sweat and a lot of love,

Madalyn

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