I really am a massively curious person, much more than most of my friends, and when a job doesn’t offer enough excitement and challenge, I move on. I am the person who sees homeless people and wants to interview them to learn about their life. I see a drunk in a bar, barely hanging onto his beer, and think, “Why are his miseries so great?”. I can be on a bus and see a family and instantly, I am transported into their world, imagining their names, what they do for a living and what their back story might be.
I’m also the same with relationships, I am curious to meet a lot of people. I want to know everything about my friends. I’m a bit like a reporter. I seek. I find. I piece together.
Funny story. This has to do with something else about me. I bore very easily. When I was hospitalized last year for my stomach, I spent 4 days in the hospital routine and I was losing my mind after the second day. I couldn’t handle the predictability. My friends said, “Oh Holly please, enjoy it, you can focus only on yourself and just read books and watch Netflix for a week – relax!”, yet I couldn’t relax long enough to do anything but feel extremely pissed that I was stuck in THAT room with THOSE other people and THAT horrible food and THIS strict schedule. It was more painful than the symptoms I was experiencing with my stomach. I was actually so excited whenever I had to leave the room to get a scan or ultrasound. I was excited when I had to have a colonoscopy. Really, not kidding. I remember thinking it was better than being stuck in that damn room another second. I think the only part of the colonoscopy that terrified me was when the HOT DOCTOR came in and introduced himself as the man about to perform the procedure. Suddenly, I wanted to be back in the room with the other two patients who wouldn’t stop bitching about their life and health problems.
The best part of the colonoscopy (there was one), was the absolutely amazing drug high. I was out in 2 seconds after hot doctor injected me with the unicorn potion and when I woke up, he was pushing me down the hallway laughing saying, “Holly you really talked a lot about a lot when you were under”… I asked him to tell me more…. He said, “Well, let’s just say that you definitely made the nurses and I laugh”. I still don’t know what happened in that room while I was under, but at least no one was bored.
I have a good friend who loves to vacation at the same resort each year, sometimes multiple times. I can’t understand it. I can’t imagine going to the same place every year for vacation, driving the same car for years, having a “favorite” restaurant that I only go on special occasions, living in the same house for more than a decade (the exception is that I can stay in one house forever as long as I can renovate parts of it every 5-10 years). I cannot fathom this level of predictability. It gives me anxiety and terrifies me.
I grew up a bit wacky, we moved a lot like a gypsy, which I know contributes both to my ability to easily move on and the my absolute desire for change, motion and excitement. I thought that as I aged, this would change. I sort of hoped it would because I exhaust myself with my need of motion and change.
BUT. As I age, I feel more driven to do more more, see it all, do it all, I feel even more of a desire to see new places, meet new faces, and explore new possibilities – to try as much as I can and to take more risks… I want to make the most of my life and I have the fire and determination to do it.
But I also wonder when is ENOUGH truly ENOUGH? Is something inherently wrong with me? Why do I resist consistency and why do I get bored so easily with certain parts of my life? Why am I a bit insatiable, can’t I ever feel “full” and content and satisfied, will I ever find a “soft spot to land” as my friend recently mentioned to me because she hopes I will. Will I ever be happy to just be still and quiet, in my house, listening to birds, gardening, playing with the dog (the dog in my imagination, I don’t have one yet)? I can’t even take a single yoga class without getting completely bored out of my mind. Zen moments just pass me by, I don’t even understand the value of posing when I could be doing something else like biking or organizing my closet. You know, things you can measure. Things that show you the results quickly. But I ask myself so much WHY? WHY is quiet, stillness, lack of motion, peace – what are these things so unattractive to me?
(I know, lots of questions. Mostly rhetorical, but you can still feel free to comment below if you are interested in answering…)
Being experimental has given me great success in life, but it has also caused me to feel inner strife, friction, and some pain. It’s given me moments of depression, sadness. My curiosity sometimes makes me scared. Should I still want so much out of life so late in life, I mean, I’ve crossed over the 40-year-old mark (quite awhile ago, a-hem), shouldn’t I want to take aqua aerobics and go on cruises? Shouldn’t I want to drink White Zinfandel and listen to soft rock? I was thinking the other day that I want to take latin and hip hop dance lessons and learn to play acoustic guitar.
I was also thinking to finally buy roller skates and learn again how to skate outside (I was a speed and “dance” skater from age 4 until I 29-years-old, then I started inline skating… BUT I miss my roller skates!)…
But who roller skates at my age? At least I have a 6-year-old. He’s always my best excuse for trying out things that I couldn’t get away with doing alone. If I’m skating with HIM then I can say it’s for him, and avoid all of the blah blah judgement – then I’m just a cool mom and not having a midlife crisis. Because if you do anything even slightly daring over 40, you are most certainly having a crisis of some sort. Though honestly, it’s a real pity that society says this because midlife is when you have finally mustered up enough courage and “f*&k you”, to finally go bra-less and not accept mediocre anything anymore… It’s the time of life when you are ready to be bold because there are often more years behind you than ahead of you. Yet society says, “Oh no, don’t enjoy this amazing surge of creative freedom, don’t bask in the glory of your no bullshit power explosion, don’t finally wear the leather skirt and get a tattoo, because you are in midlife and you are old and none of this works for you anymore.”
TO THAT I SAY: Hey, look! Middle finger!
OKAY so one last thing before I sign off — because my brain is thinking in a thousand directions on this topic, now it’s time reveal a dark side to my interior (not house, MY BRAIN) world. Along with my insatiable desire for change and newness, my courage, there is ONE area of my life in which I am UNABLE to make a decision on. ONE area that I just sit, sulk, stew, feel powerless, and very small. But the thing is, that ONE area is a big area and it definitely matters.
So my question to all of you, if I kept you reading this long (wow, you rock!), is this:
WHEN you are fearless, have courage and love change in 9 out of 10 things in your life, but are overwhelmed with anxiety, panic, over-thinking in that ONE thing, how the hell do you get your feet out of the cement shoes?
How do you apply all of that gumption to the one thing you absolutely fear and feel powerless over?
Maybe there are some therapists or really intuitive readers out there who have some comments to leave. I welcome you.
(Photo HOLLY BECKER)