I picked up a violin for the first time when I was forty-something.
I knew absolutely nothing about violins, or stringed instruments in general. Unless you count guitars, which of course are stringed instruments but not, you know, orchestra-ish stringed instruments.
Also, I’d never listened to violin music. Ever. Except maybe incidentally. I’d never been to the orchestra. I don’t even know if I’d ever really seen a violin up close before.
So yeah, I knew literally nothing about this instrument.
But I wanted to know something about it. I was curious. So, I got one.
Now, to be clear, it wasn’t like I was planning on quitting my day job in order to study the violin. It wasn’t like I was going to quit any of my other hobbies, either. I wasn’t having an “I-have-to-do-this-now-because-my-life-is-incomplete-without-it” crisis.
I was just curious, so I just honored that.
Now, to also be clear, my curiosity resulted in some rather horrible sounds at first. Like, really horrible. (I know my kids will totally back me up here). I was, unquestioningly, very bad at playing the violin. But that was okay, because I never said I would be good at it. I only said that I was curious about it.
And I found that I really did enjoy playing the violin. I still do. (And thankfully, am much better at it now than I was when I started. Which is a fairly common result of practicing something.)
But it would be fine if I didn’t end up enjoying it, because the point of honoring your curiosity is not that you end up with a wonderful new hobby or career or anything.
The point of honoring your curiosity is that when you do, you also honor yourself.
When you honor your curiosity, you allow yourself to be more authentically who you are. Acknowledging what interests you, giving it attention, and letting it take up some space, is acknowledging that what you think, matters.
This is a very brave thing to do.
After all, other people might think that you’re not focusing on the really important life-stuff. They might even go so far as to tell you this, especially if they haven’t honored their own curiosity for years.
You might actually have to decide to stop worrying about what other people think, and how brave is that?
Very brave, my friend. Very brave indeed.
But this is what it means to write your life.
Only you get to decide what you put on the page today. You get to decide whether or not to acknowledge an interest. You get to decide to try something new, simply because you’re curious about it.
Maybe you’ve always been curious about how to throw a pot (on a wheel, not across the room) or how to speak another language. Why not try that?
Why not follow your curiosity and see where it leads?
It might not lead anywhere at all, of course. You might decide that you’re not the pot-throwing type after all, and that’s okay.
It might lead to sonatas and Brahms and, if you’re very brave, Paganini’s. That’s okay too.
It isn’t really about where it leads, anyway. But it will probably lead you to a greater self-awareness.
Which makes it totally worth it.
tweetables:“Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.” (~Bryant H. McGill)
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