” A ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it is built for.”Albert Einstein
I’ve always had a lot to say. If it’s not through words, it’s visually and if it is neither of those it is usually through a heated, one way debate in my brain. With myself. I always have an opinion or some two cents to throw into a pile of change that the world has already created. But now, at 27 years old, I find myself asking more questions. If you ask me what I do for a living, I’d respond with a long story of how I wound up where I am. (This is a story for another time– as we are still only getting to know each other, I will provide you the details for another post). My winded response is likely to justify to a younger version of myself that to that to some extent I’m still not entirely sure it’s what I’m meant to be doing.
I really believe it is because there has been this constant inner conflict around wanting to help people, but helping people in my OWN way. You see, I’ve been frustrated as a clinician since entering the world of clinical anything. I want help people. Not in some clinical setting, where I can only be half present with someone who really needs my help. Because my thought around that is this: Here is this person who is in need. But we have 30 minutes to focus on some major issue that they have to go home and spend the rest of however long facing. And insurance companies care more about the money than the person it comes from. It is maddening. All I really want to be able to say to them is this: ” Hey, how are you? How’s your day?What’s on your mind? I don’t have the answers for you, but I will help you find your own and we can take as long as we need.”. There has to be a balance. So that’s what I am setting out to do.
To be honest, I struggled for some time with the idea of making a blog. Having a public place to express thoughts and try to reach people in some way always felt really intense and scary. But I’ve been trying to do more of what scares me. Because this isn’t actually about me. I’ve been trying to stick to what qualities I encourage in my clients and what my own therapist has encouraged in me–curiosity and wonder. I remember having these qualitues be more frequently apparent in my life when I was younger. When I reflect, I feel like the wonder piece of it has somehow been lost along the way. Because the more you know, the less mystical things seem. But when I really take a long, critical look at it I keep coming back to this: you really can’t have wonder without curiosity and as long as you have both, it is possible to maintain both.
But the trick isn’t about always asking “why?”. Curiosity is more about knowing when, and where to ask why? What will you achieve in doing so? What answers are you looking for? What do you want to know? How will it serve you? Why ? If you don’t know, if you don’t go in with a plan, you can end up with a lot of knowledge. Which is awesome. But how will you implement that? Are you asking the right questions? Because our point isn’t just to know, it’s to understand. Then to be able to step back and be in wonder of how we got there. How others did it. Why that matters.
When I was in art school, I remember my professor mentioning to the class that “putting down the first mark is always the hardest, but you have to just start”. I leave you with this: Where is your starting point? What questions are you going to ask today to obtain new practices, thoughts and pathways for yourself tomorrow?