the past few months have been really intense. for a lot of reasons; as I’m sure many of you can relate. people get really raw and introspective in the winter. we get cold. and, at times, it seems like our emotions and experiences harness this heavy, honest energy that accompanies the perpetual darkness outside and lack of skin exposure to real vitamin d. this might sound like the beginning to an emo bon iver song, and I apologize for the melancholy vibe. but I promise to take this somewhere positive in the end.
one question has come up in a variety of contexts lately. mostly because it’s one I never ask anymore and I’m starting to feel pretty crappy about it. I used to be that kid that tortured my poor parents by following anything they said with, “why mommy? why daddy?” and I’d incessantly grill them for hours until they gave me a sufficient answer. when I was a little peanut I was always so inquisitive. I was also freaky intuitive so a lot of times I would lead myself down into these rabbit holes of explanations that were way above my head. why did the dog have to go outside to pee? why did I have to eat my snack at the table? why wasn’t I allowed to push my brother with blunt force out of the wagon and into the driveway? why is it important to say thank you and look people in the eyes? and so on, and so forth.
now that we have “all” of the basic questions answered and we’ve outgrown our high chairs, “why” has become an increasingly difficult question for me to ask people; and more importantly, myself. as the outrageous extrovert that I am, people find that surprising. my hypothesis is that I’m moving too fast to invest additional time to inquire deeper about something. though the truth of the matter largely lies in the fear of the unknown. I don’t want to look too closely at something that seems trivial with the apprehension that it could hurt me in some way. recently, however, I have found myself in many situations where I’ve been very moved by the way and the reasons people around me are asking “why.” I’m starting to realize that going through life just nodding and smiling and accepting what I’m told as being satisfactory isn’t adding to my happiness, intelligence, or the richness of my being. in fact, it’s detracting from it.
so why this post now? what does this have to do with anything? I donno, the Olympics are on, my job has kicked my butt lately, it’s snowing for the 10th time this week, everything everywhere makes me cry, my friends and I keep landing on topics of conversation that are deep and thoughtful and soulful. so naturally, “why me? why this? why now? why not? why stay? why give up? or why start over?” have come up a time or two. and one thing that I have found most valuable with these pensive, often emotional conversations, is that we all look for the “why” in different ways and for various reasons. mostly because we need the story to fulfill different needs in unique contexts.
a gigantic catalyst for this heightened sensitivity to curiosity comes from the time spent with my very wisdom – hungry man friend. last week he told someone that one of his passions is finding out the reason why things and people are the way they are. he squirms over the back story, the data, and the strategy behind successes and failures both in business and pleasure. we share a love for adult beverages, comedy, and the great outdoors, but he and I are different in a lot of ways. he is very methodical (he folds his t-shirts like a maniac), is smart as a whip, gets wound up when he’s privileged enough to be the dumbest person in the room, and takes notes when he cooks in case he tweaks a recipe by 1 tsp of salt. so a not so unexpected twist to this old school italian, punctilious (and I think very handsome) person, are his “why seeking” motives that tap into his soul. for this guy, one thing that get him going are song lyrics. we share a similar taste in tunes, which is fantastic, but he listens to songs in a much different way and for seemingly different reasons than I do. I instantly connect to a song when I can feel the sound get under my skin. yet he listens for the message; for why the songwriter put their pen to paper in the first place. I mean, yes, he’ll geek out over an insane guitar solo, but he wants to know the story behind the musician’s message. it’s brilliant, and one of the things I admire most about him. he’ll often ask me, “do you know what this song is about?” we’ll dig up the lyrics and I’ll embarrassingly admit that no, I had never even thought about it.
so anyway, no, none of this post has had to do with having diabetes…sorry. I was feeling compelled to simply acknowledge of the present, transitional, life questioning state of being I’ve experienced the last few months. I need to step up my questions game, it’s that simple. I’ve always known that it has been a weakness of mine, and until very recently I never realized that by coasting through meetings and conversations without stopping to raise an eyebrow is a dangerous waste of an IQ and an ability to form an opinion. my hope is that this will open my eyes to a deeper understanding of things I once shied away from, or avoided due to a lack of confidence. so, this is my proclamation of a commitment to the question. read more and challenge more, shift my focus from the amount of things I expose my brain to, to the quality of things I expose my brain to, to build a more thoughtful balance of the life experiences I gather as I trudge through my 20’s in whatever messy shape or form I can finagle.
also, I deserve a sticker, I don’t think I swore once in this entire piece. HELL YEAH. oh shit. ruined it. shit, I just ruined it again. fuck it, forget the sticker….