Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Why Settle for One Dimension When You Could Have Many?

I arrived home from Florida today tired and happy. There is a good deal of shifting about to take place in my life and that shifting is causing my usual high energy to run that much higher. So what to do with all this excessive energy? Clean my apartment. (A bit sunburned from my time in the Sunshine State, jogging out in the sunshine seemed like less than a good idea.)

As is my habit when cleaning my apartment, I put on the Food Network. There was some challenge called Last Cake Standing where each of the five competitors had to build their life story out of cake. Can you imagine a more fun assignment? If only I could bake...

One of the contestants built this gorgeous cake of decorative masks, forms that symbolized different hobbies she has and places she's been. It was colorful and inventive, much more so than any of the other cakes. One of the judges criticized her for having too many disparate parts and not enough of a cohesive story. She's being ridiculed for having too many interests? Too many dimensions to her personality? Too many interesting stories and way of spending her time?

This is a terrible message to be sending out into the world, and it's one I've seen and heard much too often from far too many people. A lot of people are comfortable in one dimension. Maybe they don't have the capacity or imagination or creativity for living life in many different directions. And if so, that's fine, but don't criticize people who want to explore every interest them have! Don't punish people for being curious.

Here's are some ideas for expanding your world if you'd like to break out of the same old same old:

1.) Find a new hobby. Meet-ups, Twitter, and your local bookstore are great places to look for ideas.

2.) Live life like a tourist for a weekend. Pick up a copy of a guide book to your city or a copy of the weekend edition of your paper, and see where it takes you.

3.) Take a weekend trip on an impulse.

4.) Volunteer - you'll be inspired by the other people you work alongside.

5.) Start to learn a new language, and explore the cultures that use it

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