Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Renaissance Soul

a.k.a. someone who is curious about too many things.

a.k.a. me

So much in our current culture encourages us to find one or two things we are good at (or interested in) and pursue them, put our in our 10,000 hours and become experts. There aren't a heck of a lot rewards those of us who have a broad range of interests and the intention to keep pursing them. Certainly growing up I felt the need to fine my niche and stay there, accumulating knowledge, skill and expertise. As I grew older and tried other things I still felt a sliver of hope at the outset, that this new hobby or interest would be "the one" and I would be on my way to a deep, lifelong relationship and maybe some published books.

Hasn't happened yet and I'm beginning to suspect it wont happen for me. But I have tried many neat things, learned some useful skills, and a handful of these activities are ones I want to keep pursuing, keep learning and improving my expertise.

So much to explore, so little time!

A few years ago I came across this book when browsing Amazon and just reading the description it felt like a light went on. The author gave a name to people like me, perpetual try-ers unwilling to commit to just one interest: Renaissance Souls. Ok, yeah, sure its a bit touchy-feely-selfy-helpy. And the phrase "life design" just annoys the everliving crap outta me - pretentious much? But it showed me that there are many more people out there with a similar bend and with a bit of restraint and planning, it is something you can embrace.

Getting better with the embracing part, still figuring out how to feed the part of me that is like a kid in the candy store, where the candy store is this totally, amazingly awesome world we live in. As much as I want to taste and try everything, there just isn't enough time. 

Hello new and interesting thing! What can I learn from you?

A brief, off the cuff list of things I want to pursue:
(note: most I have at least passing experience with, enough to know I want to learn more. Who knows about all the things I haven't tried yet!)

* running (barefoot, trail and chirunning)
* yoga (regular practice, and eventually ashtanga)
* rock climbing
* skiing (cross-country and downhill)
* whitewater canoeing
* kite surfing
* contortion
* improve swimming strokes/endurance
* meditation
* sewing (clothing mostly)
* quilting
* needlework (cross-stitch, needlepoint, hardanger)
* knitting
* crocheting
* learn to sing
* gardening (fruit trees, vegetable, herb, bulb flowers, ornamental grasses, lithops)
* bonsai
* build a computer
* raise a brackish-water puffer fish
* painting (oil and watercolour, plein air, abstract, fantasy and realism)
* drawing (keep a regular sketchbook, drawing realistically, portraits)
* coloured pencil art
* digital art (e.g. Photoshop)
* pottery
* history of the middle east
* history of asia
* oh hell, the history of pretty much everything
* ditto archaeology
* interior decorating
* carpentry
* learn more about investing
* home finances/become a budget ninja
* become a better (video) gamer
* eating (reducing meat, exploring more vegan, vegetarian and raw additions to my diet. Note I said reducing there, not eliminating. You can relax B ;) ) 

On to something else....

Some notable absences:

There isn't really anything to do with writing - I use writing as a tool, to communicate, but it isn't something that I feel called to do on a creative level. No blockbuster fantasy novels coming from this gal!
Cooking - not because I don't want to pursue it, but because I already feel I have a solid handle on the making tasty things; it is such a fundamental part of my life and who I am that it isn't something I want to pursue, I AM pursing it. Huge success. The same goes for camping/wilderness canoeing.

Looking at this list its no wonder that I think of the ~50 years left of my life and feel time crushing down. There are just so many neat things to learn and do in this world I'll never have enough time to try and achieve even basic competence at everything (and I haven't even touched on experiences yet, like travel!). Sometimes I think I'm too curious for my own good.

Snoozing up energy for the next adventure!

In an effort not to turn this into a novel, I'm going to split this post into two parts.

Next post I'm going to talk a bit about the challenges that comes from being endlessly curious in a world with endless things to be curious about and one way to deal with them.

To Part 2


  1. Good post, Fuss. I especially love that Henry was gracious enough to helped you out with the post. :D Looking forward to part 2!

  2. Seeing those pics of Henry reminded me of
    this picture which in turn reminded me of a story I once wrote featuring Mr. Henners as Kai's loyal companion. Heathers, if you're interested, I could bring that story back from the grave ;)

  3. Hehehe, anyone interested in that story can receive it by email or private message. In the interest of keeping THV from blushing, I think it's better if it remains out of the comments :)