I've always known I was a sheep. I'm a herd's Hurd. To me, groups are wonderful. Belonging to something feels great. There's security in looking around you and seeing the familiar faces of the people and things you know and love.
But lately I've been called away.
I'm not exactly sure when it started. All I know is that more and more, I find myself looking for something outside my familiar pack and my old routine. It's happening everywhere. In the studio, I'm not able to feel inspired by my old favorite records; instead, I'm drawn to different sounds. In grocery stores, my stand-by food choices feel wrong; instead, I'm buying foods I've never cooked with before. Even the rallying cry of my liberal friends isn't resonating with me the way it used to; instead, I'm inclined to spend more time finding compassion for conservatives.
What gives? I've been wondering if I'm going through an identity crisis. Or worse, if maybe I've grown bored of my herd.
It wasn't until this morning that I figured out what's happening. My explorer's heart is calling.
I think about Ferdinand Magellan, Henry Hudson, Marco Polo, etc. They also got the call. So much of the world was undiscovered at time, and they wanted to know more. They craved fresh concepts and new landscapes. And their job was to explore, and then to report back. I imagine them to be adventurous and intrigued by life.
I feel like that too. Except as a middle-aged person in the U.S. with full access to everything I could ever need, it's getting harder to discover new things. Particularly with 24/7 internet access. But that doesn't stop my spirit from wanting to venture out on its own. And so--in my own little ways--I'm giving in to it. I'm channeling my inner Lewis & Clark and allowing myself to be drawn away. I'm going toward those unfamiliar things that are asking me to know them better. Not because I'm bored, but because my soul is asking me to explore new ideas, and ultimately, the discoveries I make are good for the group.
Take my son; he also has a pioneer's spirit. This week, he looked out the window and saw his first deer. He was mesmerized. So much so that he didn't want to have breakfast. He just stayed at the window, hoping the deer would come back. Eventually, he came back from the window and excitedly told us about it. (He's only one year-old, so it came out as rapid-fire gibberish). But his excitement was infectious, and we all caught it.
Reader I hope you're able to make discoveries this week that light you up as well. If you have some extra light, please send it along to my daughter; she has her third surgery this Wednesday. I'll see you back here next Sunday. -Em