There’s something quite wonderful about being a beginner, starting something new with fresh eyes, optimism, excitement and curiosity.
There are probably plenty of things that you’ve been doing for a long time to the point that they’re a regular part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. It could be old hobbies from childhood or a job that you’re just so familiar with that the joy has been taken out of it.
It could even be what you want thought was your dream job but because you’re doing it all the time and you’re so used to it doesn’t really feel like a dream anymore. Now it’s actually just your reality.
Sometimes, we get the job that we want and maybe we’re even living in our ideal home in our ideal location. We feel settled in life so we stop exploring. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you’re putting aside your curiosity and yearning then maybe something needs to change. The feeling of wanting to explore life probably won’t just go without you tending to it.
The reason we don’t tend to it is often because we allow societal standards and ideas to restrict us. We end up feeling like it’s too late to try something new because we’re a certain age or it feels like it’ll be a step back. It’s no use holding on to those ideas if they just make you unhappy.
The desire to explore could be as small as reading a genre of fiction you wouldn’t usually be open to or joining a local volunteering group. It doesn’t have to be about quitting your job to start a business. selling all your belongings and travelling around Asia for 6 months.
If you aspire to allow your curiosity to come out and play then this quote is one to live by.
Asking questions can be scary and uncomfortable so taking on a mindset that no question is stupid may help to relieve some of those feelings. But after mustering up the courage to ask, if you don’t get the kind of answer you’d have liked then you can end up feeling disheartened and wishing that you’d just said nothing.
However in this situation, it’s important to focus on the action, not the outcome. keeping quite may leave you riddled with fear and anxiety which comes with little to no benefit. But if you can relieve that by simply asking a question then why not?
Granted nobody wants to hear ‘no’ when they were pining for a ‘yes’. Nevertheless, I think it’s much better to unburden yourself and perhaps end up a little disappointed than it is to keep carrying the burden of an unanswered question even though you know you don’t have to.
I recently listened to an episode of Akimbo where a listener asked Seth about who he thought his audience was. Seth’s answer was pretty wonderful.
It got me thinking about my own audience, my readers, people like you.
For me it’s never been about appealing to a particular demographic, age, race, social class, etc. I’ve always wanted to create a space where you can come as you are. I like to think if it as us sitting in a circle and me telling a story.
My readers are people with a curiosity for life, people who notice things, people like you and people like me.
Around 6 or 7 years ago I thought that I needed to be ‘inspirational’ and needed to be someone that others would put on a pedestal. I thought that was the way that it should be.
In aspiring to that, I then found myself getting distracted by the idea of not being good enough especially when the numbers weren’t high enough.
These days I just focus on the writing.
We now have access to more information than we’ll ever use and can ever truly comprehend.
You might have grown up where the only way to learn about something was if you went to the library, watched a documentary on TV or even asked someone you know.
If you want to learn about something nowadays, the answer is a few seconds away. Any random thought or curiosity that comes to mind doesn’t have to pass you by.
You can google it.
And because we have that access, it might make us less likely to read books, watch documentaries and ask questions. Those are things I’d consider to still be worth doing.
When we’re seeking answers or information on a topic, we can find it out on our own pretty quickly.
It’s also something we take for granted.
I wrote about boundaries in a recent post but upon reflection I had more to add.
Sometimes even when you are aware of a persons boundaries and you know it has nothing to do with you, you still try to overstep the mark. A person will do it in small or subtle ways because they are curious whilst also being aware they have to tread carefully.
But when you catch them overstepping in the moment they’re likely to respond by telling you that they didn’t mean it or that they didn’t relaise that it was an issue. perhaps they try to tell you that there is no issue at all.
When it comes to over stepping a boundary it’s really about respect. When you can see a clear boundary you have to decide if it is more important to follow that curiosity or to simply respect what the other person does and doesn’t want
I think the idea of being curious is something often associated with childhood. You think of being at a young age where you have lots of questions and so you ask them not really thinking about whether or not you should.
But then we get older, for a large majority of people asking questions is seen as a bad thing. It’s considered nosy.
I think being curious is a good thing. It helps us learn and grow.
Plus, in many situations although there are almost unspoken rules about not asking questions, the truth is that asking might actually benefit you.
It might feel like you’re being an inconvenience but if you don’t understand something or you want to know more, why should you stay quiet. This of course does not apply to asking questions that can be answered by a quick google. Those questions are more about laziness than curiosity.
I’m thinking more of the questions with answers that will provide knowledge.
Maybe it’s a question about yourself. Maybe you ask someone if there’s anything you can do to help them.
Anyway the point is curiosity isn’t a bad thing, it’s human nature. It comes in more forms than just asking questions, it’s also about exploration and openness.
Curiosity is an aspect of myself I’ve been making more of an effort to embrace and it’s paying off.
It’s out there, you just have to know where to look.
If you ever have a curiosity, want to learn more or are looking for answers the information is out there.
It’s east to forget that the same thing you use to scroll twitter, watch YouTube videos, double tap on Instagram and swipe on dating apps can be the very same thing to educate you.
In so many cases you don’t even need to ask questions because the answer is only a few clicks away.
Take advantage of that and seek out knowledge on the things that matter to you, simply because you can.
Sometimes I think about what my purpose is in life, what my main driving force is.
Last year I had a big revelation about this idea of experiencing joy. I realised that there is an abundance of joy to be experienced in life, if I was open to it.
This was a major mind shift as a couple years prior I had a pretty bleak outlook on life. Last year I also began to embrace my curiosity and once again I came to the obvious realisation that it’s who I am, I like learning and knowing things.
And so I’ve taken joy and curiosity as my purposes in life rather than something more specific but I think that’s enough. Gone are the days of thinking my purpose is to help people etc because that often came from a place of feeling like I needed to do things to be liked.
Spending my life exploring joy and curiosity sounds much more fulfilling.
Whilst browsing on Instagram a week or so ago I came across the account of someone that I haven’t seen in years. My curiosity got the better of me and I clicked to see what was on their feed. It was one of those times where I knew I didn’t need to look but I just couldn’t help myself.
Sometimes I hold onto the past and live as though the world will stand still and give me time to adjust but as The Jezabels sing ‘it goes on’. That reality is kind of beautiful whilst also making me realise how easy it can be to waste time.
I have spent so much time ruminating on things that don’t matter and it only seems like they do because I give them so much attention.
So here’s to being more present, I guess.