Try something new...

Monday 19 September 2016

It's funny how we all get stuck in our ways isn't it? 

We grow up and we know what we like and what we don't like. That vegetable we haven't tried since we were 7 but we know we won't have grown into. That band that just really aren't our kind of thing. That hobby that you just don't really get.

It's easily done. We all have busy lives and we don't want to waste our time or our money or our energy trying something that we might not like when we can do, or eat, or see something, that we know we will. Even us twenty something year olds, who are always looking for new experiences and open to try anything, have our habits, our staples, our fall back things, and we all have that thing that we've ruled out.

Ruled out of doing or trying, because even though we've never actually done it or tried it, we just know 'it isn't for me.'

'It isn't for me' is something that I hear a lot in my work. Specifically in relation to theatre, and while I can't fathom theatre not being for someone, I can see why people have that belief.

Maybe they once went to a show and hated it. Maybe they once went to a venue and felt out of place or had a bad experience. Maybe some one forced them to get up on stage when they were 6 and they forgot their lines and their parents have never let them live it down. They're all one off things that could have maybe happened ONCE that have put people off for life. Or maybe nothing ever happened to put them off, but somewhere down the line something or someone told them that it wasn't for them.

So while I don't get that feeling in relation to theatre, I do get that feeling.

I've had and have that feeling. Because like everybody else, I put myself into boxes that help define me. I'm a creative type so I go int that box over there. Then once I'm in that box, I find the theatre/drama/writing boxes because that's me, that's what I do. I don't pay much attention to the other boxes, why would I?

But here's the thing with those other boxes and those things that we've ruled out because they aren't for us, because we once tried them 15 years ago, or because we just know. Those 'new(ish)' boxes and things, may not become a building block of our personality, they may not become something that defines us, but they may still be something we could enjoy.

Take me, in my creative>drama box, what if I lifted the lid and peeked into the creative>drawing box? Sure I'm probably not going to become a visual artist, but that box lives right next to mine, there's probably something in it that I would enjoy. Because don't all kids enjoy drawing until some one tells them they are or aren't very good at it?

We define ourselves, we think, by the things that we do, but that list of things is probably very small, so are we not defining ourselves more by the things that we don't do? Should we see ourselves as simple boxes neatly packed away? Maybe it's just the clutter bug in me, but I much prefer the idea of being more like an unruly storage container, FULL of boxes, with their lids open and their contents spread across the floor.

Because people aren't simple, so why do we think the things we like and don't like have to be?

So this week, peak out of whichever box you've been hiding in and look to your left. Try something new or something that you haven't tried in years. It doesn't have to be scary and you don't have to like it, but if we're going to define ourselves by the things that we don't do, shouldn't we at least double check that we definitely don't like them first?

Be brave, try something new(ish) x

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