Live for the experience of living.
Nicole has a knack I admire for seeking out new adventures. We probably did something I have never experienced before every day this weekend.
Left unattended, I gravitate toward building rituals and habits but I love adventure and new experiences (or even revisiting old experiences that I have not tried in many years). These two extremes, I think, are what have given me a reputation for being “adaptable” to many social environments while also still being strategic and consistent in my work habits and hobbies.
New experiences, in my opinion, are the core of what makes life worth living. Some adventures are better than others. Sometimes adventure leads to danger (real or perceived, social or ethical, physical or financial) but that is part of the game. As long as you are not intentionally causing damage to yourself or others, it is probably worth doing.
Especially if you are a young adult (but even if you are not), here is advice that has enriched my life and I hope will put you in the mindset of living a (mostly) joyful experimental life:
Live lots of places. If you have an opportunity to move, take it (or create one). There is no rule that says you have to spend your entire life within five miles of your current friends or family. Let the world be your family and make friends everywhere. Every place is so different. I have lived places I have loved and places I have hated (and sometimes they were the same places) but I have never regretted a fresh start somewhere new. Living somewhere new, especially if you are on your own, is difficult but it teaches you self-sufficiency, forces you to leave your comfort zone and grow, and builds character. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself, if you ask me.
Explore. The first thing I do after settling in a new town, is explore it, mostly by foot. I try to find the nooks that hide the best coffee shops or the lushest parks. But exploring does not have to be saved for moving. Pick something you have never done in your own town and try it. Either way, just get out in the world and go somewhere you have not been. When fuel was cheap, me and a friend would meet every Sunday, pick a direction and just drive for 4 or 5 hours, seeing where the road took us. We always found cool places to eat, if nothing else.
Say “Yes” a LOT. People present us with chances to explore and experiment all the time but we are often so caught in our own routines and rhythms that we miss the opportunity. If a friend says, “Hey, I was thinking about trying (tennis, a new restaurant, rock-climbing, the museum, going to a roller derby, seeing a cabaret show, checking out a live jazz band, the ballet, yoga, etc…), just say, “Sounds cool. What time should I be there?” Even if it sounds like something you will hate, remember your mom’s advice about broccoli and try it anyway. My personal rule is, “I’ll try anything twice.” I figure the first time I am going to be nervous, not know what to expect, maybe feeling some trepidation. Whatever it is, even if it is a bad experience, I will very likely give it another shot in fairness.
Those tips work for me and I am reminded of them almost daily (Nicole really keeps me on my toes–I am almost never sure where the weekend will lead, but I am lucky to be in a new city now so every day is an adventure either way!). I hope living an experimental life works for you, too.
Today’s Lesson: Home is not so much where the heart is as it is where your feet take you. Go explore, wherever your are. Say “Yes” often and try anything twice before deciding you do not like it.