Bright, Shiny Things

My latest theory is that I must have been a raccoon or a crow in a previous life: I am uncontrollably attracted to bright shiny things.  Not just things that are literally bright and shiny, but basically anything outside the usual.  “Oh, I want to learn this.  But wait, that seems brighter; let’s look at that now!”

Tammy competing in Rumba I love the fact that I am willing to jump into things. Yes, I often find it is not for me, and that is okay.  It also has given me some of the best experiences of my life.  I went from not being a dancer to practicing 5-7 days a week, a couple hours at a shot, in about a 1 month period.  [That is me in the picture at one of my early competitions.] Had I tested the waters first, I might have given up before discovering how truly passionate I am about it.

Without having overall goals, this could be really disruptive … and expensive; however, I spent the first part of my life so afraid of failure that I wouldn’t try new things for fear that people would think less of me for not being good at it right out of the gate.  I learned early on that I was good at at academics, and somehow that morphed into believing that was all I was good at. As I graduated from high school, I could have told you what I’d be doing 10 years out (have my PhD) and had annual guide posts to make sure I was on track.  I followed plans with tenacity, losing out on lots of opportunities that presented themselves along the way.  Then life happened: things that seemed outside my control at the time (which were more in my sphere of influence than I realized then) created a roadblock in my path.  At that point in my life, I wasn’t able to cope with the derailment. It really threw me, and I felt lost.

But that led me down different paths and created a more adventurous spirit.I now relish the fact that my inherent response to a new opportunity is “Why not?”.

Besides dancing, some of my other favorites have been:

  • Taking a drawing class even though I felt stick figures were above my ability level
  • Indoor Rock climbing (because the outdoor type is dirty plus the potential critter involvement!)
  • Then (ironically) a few years later, the Sierra Club’s Wilderness Basic course which led me to try backpacking and bouldering
  • I was about to type that I hadn’t tried anything new lately, and then realized that having my own blog is new.  D’uh!  Heaven knows there is a definite learning curve going on here!!!!!

Each one of these has taught me something about myself or the universe.  Sometimes it is a universal truth – water is HEAVY – and other times it is simply a realization that I suck less than I thought I would!  All of these are good to know.

When opportunities present themselves, I now weigh my options based on how good of a story they will be at the senior center later in life.  How do you decide what new activities to try …. or …. what are some of the opportunities that you have taken that you can’t believe you had the courage to do?

2 thoughts on “Bright, Shiny Things”

  1. Tammy, Yay for you! It’s fun to be in a time of life where we have time to pursue interests without little ones underfoot or needing to be hauled here or there and leaving no time. I love it. I recently took a photography class. I recently started blogging. I became a Reiki healer through some coursework. I finished a novel and had an agent ask to see it. And many of these pursuits I almost talked myself out of. I post at The Empty Nest Mom about these very kinds of things – encouraging all of us to keep growing and learning and hey, have fun. I tried a painting class and found out that, indeed, stick figures WERE above my level. But at least I tried, right? Keep having fun – sounds like you will.
    The Empty Nest Mom

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  2. Barbara, Thanks for sharing your experience! Good for you for trying new things. Still chuckling at the stick figure comment – I’ve had many of those misses as well. It’s character building … I keep telling myself that, which makes it true, right?

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