This past summer when I worked at a summer camp, everyday in the morning the Director would ask “Who’s going to try something new today?” and at the end of the day would ask again “Who tried something new today?”. And I don’t know why but that really stuck with me.
It’s life changing really.
At first it didn’t quite sink in because I was more worried about supporting the kids and getting them to trying something new and grow. It wasn’t until I was having a conversation with my campers and they ask ME if I had done something new today. I didn’t know what to say. For me being a camp counselor was new enough and I realized I had become stagnant because I thought I was doing enough already.
I had become complacent.
The problem is, trying something new takes effort, and sometimes being lazy takes control. I hadn’t become lazy with my job, I was working exceptionally well, but I had became lazy in my life. And I realized I had been lazy for a long time.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy trying things, but more often than not I would rather take the safe, comfortable route rather than putting myself out there. Yes it can be uncomfortable, and awkward, and we might fail, but it’s time we start practicing what we preach.
So I decided in that moment that I must be the change.
I began everyday, to try something new.
I learned how to make friendship bracelets and jewelry.
I made candles
I shot arrows into targets
I “acted” on stage (quotations because I don’t know if you can call what I did acting, but I tried)
I learned to play the ukulele
Then I learned to play the guitar
I did the high ropes course
Then I was trained in the high ropes course and helped kids
I learned to mountain bike
Then I fell mountain biking
And then I got up and kept mountain biking
I tried different fruits
I experimented with salads (as a vegan this is important)
I went sailing
Then I learned how to sail
And then I taught kids to sail
And I said yes to things I never thought I would ever do or try.
And then I came home and I refused to stop on this “try something new” kick. I can’t say I’ve kept up at the extent that I was at camp, but it’s the mindset that counts. I can say it has been life changing. I view things in a whole new way, and since it’s now a habit to just try new things I no longer have to think about it, I just do.
In the last two months I’ve tried a list of new things.
I went rock climbing
I learned to play racquetball
I learned to play tennis
I started biking more instead of using my car
I volunteered at the library
I tried composting (keyword, tried)
I learned to knit
I’m (still) learning to play the guitar
I tried new recipes
I went to new restaurants
I try new running routes all the time
And I started a blog
And all of this has turned me into a doer.
If you can be anything in life, be a doer. Be that person excited about life, because people like to be around that person. Be overly enthusiastic about everything and your outlook on life changes.
I recently went to a concert where my best friend and I were waiting in line outside for the doors to open, and it started pouring. By the time we got inside, it looked like someone had dumped a bucket of water on us. We then proceeded to be soaking wet for the entire concert.
And I thought it was the funniest thing in the world
I didn’t care at all, I wasn’t mad, I thought it was funny that it had rained.
I thought it was funny that everyone at this concert was just dripping wet.
That’s what happens when you change your mindset, everything turns into a possibility to learn and grow. Everything feels like an adventure.
I love taking people to get boba for the first time because I love seeing the expression on their face when that tapioca balls hits their mouth, it’s hilarious. The face they make is always the face of wonder and curiosity.
As kids we see everything with a face of wonder, everything is new and exciting. And somewhere along the lines we stop trying new things, we lose the wonder. I’m not sure why this happens, whether it’s because of the work centered way of life we live, or if its a natural human transition, but adults stop doing new things.
This had happened to me, and I was called out for it by a kid.
I never want to stop doing new things. If I have one goal in life, it’s to do everything. Which I realize is an impossible goal but isn’t that what they taught us in school? To reach for the stars?
It’s amazing how all the doors that open up when you start doing. You become fearless, brave, everything becomes possible, and for the first time in awhile, I felt calm. So go out there, choose a random hobby you know nothing about, chose something that you’ve always wanted to learn or do, and then GO DO IT. The first step is always the hardest.