Whilst I enjoy my home and my front yard, my imagination and thoughts have always had a wider calling. I have always believed that good things lie beyond my front fence and that the world offers endless possibilities for the curious. I remember that in my circle of friends growing up there was always one fascinating individual who knew a lot about a lot. In those days, given that we were not of driving age, that knowledge would have come from reading a wide range of sources. From science fiction to world politics, this dude understood it all. As a result, he was fascinating to be around and fascinating to talk to.
These days, I feed my curiosity in various ways. Reading blogs on a wide variety of different topics is but one. It is certainly refreshing to be able to hear different viewpoints from sources other than the mainstream media. Our press here seems to have a developed a homogeneity to it and what I personally feel is an element of intellectual snobbism. Information and news should be accessible, digestible and debatable by all but that’s a whole other topic and blog post. Another favorite way is to talk to people I haven’t spoken to before. You never know where such a conversation will lead, what nugget you may glean.
Remaining open and receptive is key.
When I first starting work after graduating from university, I found that I missed academic learning. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of learning to be done on the job, but most of that was of a practical nature. I
craved something that involved digging a little deeper. So after a year out, I returned to undertake postgraduate studies and my curiosity was appeased for a time. Then came children and my learning curve and curiosity transcended a whole other level. However, in our little work team, I was the one that would ferret out new developments and report them. The ferreting was a welcome distraction from the day-to-day churn.
Then there’s the curiosity about other lands and cultures. Travel just ticks so many boxes. I see a lot of it in the future of my second act.
Curiosity in my midlife years has taken on new life and new urgency as the search for answers and new ideas escalates. I love having a variety of teachers, from the very young to the very old. We can learn something from everybody, whether they deliver the lesson with eloquence, articulation or just gesticulation.
And just to show that I’m still totally
insane curious, I have just started a new course of postgraduate university study in a field that is totally different to that in which I work. The last four weeks have been a real eye opener in terms of what learning is like in the technological age and have been wonderfully gratifying even in those moments of pure stress during the submission of my first assignment. Last weekend was a real fun time in our household with mother and son engaging in a fascinating discourse on the Harvard in text method of citation. We both had assignments due either side of Easter – he as a university freshman, me as a postgraduate student. But THE very best thing about this experience is that I am undertaking this course of study simply because I want to. This is purely to expand my world. If something comes out of it in the job sense, then great, if not that’s great too. Whatever the case, I will have gained something other than just a university fee debt.
And remember as an undergrad how you looked upon mature age students as slightly freaky and not quite understanding why? Well, now I AM that mature age student, motivated and grateful for the opportunity to do it all again.
So did curiosity really kill the cat? I think not.
Are you curious by nature? Would you ever contemplate undertaking further formal study? Maybe you are already engaged in further formal study. If so, I would love to hear from you!
Today I give myself permission to be curious.