Funny story, well not really funny. More like pathetic.
I was putting back on my belt the other day and I noticed that I had put it on the wrong way. Instead of pulling it to the right to tighten, I had somehow put it on so that I had to pull it to the left. I stood there puzzled for minute or so thinking, “How come I put it on ‘wrong’?” then I thought, “This feels weird!” then I thought, “That’s interesting that I’ve never done that before,” and I kept thinking about it. Then it hit me. I am in a rut. If changing my belt provided all that introspection, heck the fact that I even noticed something so trivial, it means that I don’t have that much on the go! It’s kinda sad, right?
The point of telling you this is to discuss an adjective that was hurled across a dinner table at me the other day: spontaneous. Friends and I went out for dinner and we got to talking about my upcoming trip to the Salsa Congress and I brought up the fact that it’s a few days away and we don’t have the workshop schedule yet. Someone was saying that there’s still time. I was saying, but it’s less than two weeks away! Then my friend says, very innocently and, of course, it was her own personal opinion, “You have to understand. She’s not very spontaneous.” I had never heard that about myself before in all my years. I looked at her and then looked at myself and I thought, “That can’t be true, is it?” How does one get a new label at the age of 36.92?
I took those words home in my mind and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s funny when you see yourself from a new perspective. I know I have control issues, but it’s hard not to when you’re responsible for another person and living your life without a safety net. It’s hard to be frivolous and foolish when you have to take care of two people’s tomorrows. I didn’t see it as a criticism, it’s just something about myself that I have never considered before. I started thinking about situations that might validate this assessment. I found more and more examples of me holding back. I can’t help but laugh, even now, because it seems preposterous that someone as spunky as me could not be spontaneous.
Then it clicked in. While I may not be spontaneous, I am easy going. Wait, that’s not strictly true either. I can get a little high strung. Hmmm…so maybe I don’t know myself at all! hahaha…isn’t this weird? I have always had a perception of myself in a certain way and now I’m questioning everything. I’m definitely not a fuddy duddy and I am definitely adventurous. That I know for sure. I guess I’m not adventurous AND spontaneous. I would think they would go together, but I guess in my case, they don’t. I would definitely travel on my own or go to places I’ve never been before or do things I’ve never done, but not on a whim – I’d have to plan it first. Hmm…I think I’m starting to see who I might actually be here.
Perhaps, the actual adjective is not as important as what it meant to me at this time in my life. Maybe hearing and digesting it is a catalyst for introspection and making a conscious decision to be the person I want to be rather than the person that I HAVE to be. I don’t want to be one of those people in their late 60’s thinking about the things they wanted to do but didn’t. I’m not talking about regret, I’m talking about being the person you WANT to be before the opportunity slips away. Maybe a little spontaneity is just what I need to get out of this funk – to get out of the routine and structure that is my life.
Okay, so this begs the question: how does one plan to be spontaneous?