I like to try things –
many EVERYthing. I’ve rollerbladed, rock climbed, meditated and run races. I love to scuba dive, read, dance and sit on the couch watching endless hours of Breaking Bad. I’ve been a vegetarian that only eats chicken, a vegetarian that only eats fish, a vegetarian that only eats french fries and cookies, and a meat-loving carnivore. At one time or another I’ve wanted to be a helicopter pilot, teacher, doctor, architect, marine biologist and actor (to name a few).
I was born curious; my father swears I came into the world asking questions. As soon as I could walk I wanted to explore everything around me and the older I got the more there was to discover. I went from ballet to BMX bike, grunge music to opera. There was just too much to choose from and I needed a taste of everything.
Though I can proudly say now that my curiosity is my favourite thing about myself, it was something I actually hated for most of my life. People would tell me that I was fickle, young and lost – all of which, heard time and again, I’d believe. I waited for the day when I would find a sport, job, city and lifestyle in which I’d fall so completely in love that my eyes would no longer roam. I told myself that when I focused on one thing I would be mature, steady and stable. I’d no longer waver in the wind, instead I’d plant my feet and finally grow roots.
It took hitting my 30’s to trust myself enough to know I wasn’t meant to focus on one thing. I am different. I am curious. I will put my best effort in walking a straight line, but I will always take the time to glance sideways. This doesn’t make me fickle, or lost. In fact I’ve never felt so grounded in all of my life because I finally understand that I know best how to live it.
I wish I knew then what I know now. If I did I would have stopped listening to those people long ago. And it’s no one in particular (I grew up very much loved and encouraged) but it’s everyone because I realize now that it was my own voice telling me those lies. It was my fear of the unknown that told me to stop, focus and grow roots in places where I’d never be able to really grow. Then it was my voice, but a braver version, that encouraged me to dig up those roots and move somewhere else.
We need to stop listening to that voice. We need to feel free to change. The point of my life isn’t to find one thing put my head down and go. I am giving myself permission to try many things and to learn which really deserves my attention. I will taste life and feast on the parts I love the most. Air, water, sand and stones. Cumin, watermelon, rhubarb and buffalo mozzarella. Winter, spring, summer and fall. Fiction, non-fiction, true-crime and self-help. Black Labradors, pugs, huskies and french bulldogs. I am thankful for the selection that this lovely life offers.
Last year when I finished my yoga teacher training a dear friend handed me a note that read:
“Every idea, every statement reveals her zest for life – the fact that, by God when she’s done with it, life will have nothing wonderful left to discover that Nadine hasn’t explored already.”
I treasure those words, I just wish it didn’t take me 36 years to realize what she did within 6 months of meeting me. I am a lover of life. All things life. I will eat, smell, taste, love, touch, and dance my way to the finish line. Anything I missed I’ll get to on the next go-round.