When was the last time you did something for the first time?
This adage comes up on Twitter + Instagram all the time … but have you actually thought about it?
Some of us are naturally inclined to try new things – myself, for example. Getting “stuck in a rut” is my idea of a living hell.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have a family member who has lived in the same house for 30+ years and had the same vehicle for 10+ years – not for lack of money or a desire for new things, but an overwhelming, near-paralyzing fear of change.
Tried + true has its place, but our brain thrives on novelty. New things help us remember information for longer.
Plus, the more new things you experience, the more your brain has to draw from when it tries to make creative, innovative connections between various concepts, ideas, + insights.
A few weeks ago, I tried something new.
I posted a poem that came to me right before I began my daily meditation.
I never imagined that
The hardest thing
I’d ever do
Would be to look
In the mirror
I could ramble on about how I found it to be incredibly insightful and the perfect summation of a lifelong struggle with depression, anxiety, + lack of self-worth … but none of that is important.
What is important? The silence that came after.
No likes, no retweets, no comments … nothing. Digital silence.
In a way, it was refreshing.
But it also induced an incredible feeling of loneliness. The kind of isolation many of us feel when we interact with more people online than we do in person on an average day.
But I left it up. I left the poem up because it was the first time I ever posted poetry publicly.
I left it up because I tried something new and that is a damn good thing.
I left it up because silence is the worst thing that can happen when you expand yourself creatively, and I survived.
And you can survive.
Try that new thing. Dive into that curiosity-inducing topic. Talk about it publicly.
Take action. Expect silence. Then keep doing it anyway.
Our most significant growth happens when no one is watching.