I'll Never Stop Trying New Things
3 minute read
“How’s rock climbing going?”
My mother asked me that the other day.
I spit out my coffee, holding back a laugh.
About three months ago, I took a 1-hr bouldering class which snowballed into an obsession that lasted about as long as a Pete Davidson love affair (or 2 months).
I watched YouTube videos on climbing holds, purchased chalk on Amazon, and even tried to convince some friends to join.
Then I just stopped.
I’m not sure why I stopped.
Oh wait, yea I do—because it was fucking hard.
Did you know rock climbing takes mostly lower body strength? I didn’t. Your arms should be straight the entire time, like holding two bags full of groceries. You use your lower body to lift, not your arms. The opposite of how I learned to climb trees as a young lad.
I cringe when I reflect on all the past hobbies and career moves. I cringe when I re-read most of my articles.
How could I be so interested in one thing, then pull a 180?
How could I trust myself to ever try new things?
I’ll journal about it and remember an important lesson.
If You’re Not Trying New Things, You’re Settling.
What’s the opposite of curiosity?
What’s the opposite of trying something new?
What’s the opposite of looking like an idiot for a while?
Nihilism I guess?
I dated someone in college who never asked why I had a piano in my room. No joke. Months went by and she never bothered to ask if I played or if there was a story behind it.
Eventually I couldn’t help myself.
“I noticed you never asked about the piano?”
“Yea, it’s because I don’t know anything about them.”
Really? I wonder why that is.
One of my favorite philosophical lines comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. In an essay he wrote about self-reliance, he says.
“Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
People have written books, recorded podcasts, and given lectures about this verse.
To me, all it means is consistency is overrated.
Overrated in the sense that nothing is 100% consistent. You least of all.
Your inputs change.
Your environment changes.
The people in your life change.
You can resist. You don’t have to try rock climbing. You don’t have to ask about a giant piano in the middle of a 540-square-foot apartment. You can sit around, watch other people try new things, and laugh when they fail.
Nothing wrong with that.
But I much prefer the people who do try. Who place themselves in the arena.