That may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but I fear change. I like having control over the little things in life. I went to a fondue restaurant. I stayed with the conventional choice for appetizer cheese – cheddar – but it came with interesting mix-ins and different types of things to dip. While my choices were mostly conventional, I did try some new things. I ordered the vegetarian plate and tried artichoke hearts and a mild curry thing which I ended up adoring. There were little wild mushroom pasta purses that were incredible as well. I had never really met a mushroom I liked until last night. I brought home the asparagus spears and tofu to try at home. I know it seems incredible that I’ve never tried many of these things, but I have been a picky eater my whole life. I didn’t want to spend money on a jar or whole package of something that I wasn’t going to like. It seemed like a waste, so I stuck with things I knew I’d like. But, since these things came included in the price of the rest of the meal, I felt able to try them and I must say, they weren’t bad.
I am not one to try new things very often. In fact I don’t try old things very often either unless I’ve made them part of my regular routine. Case in point: my son went to a birthday party at a roller skating rink last week. He had never been skating before and fell a lot. But, after a while he started to get it a little and talked his father and me into going out on the floor. My husband, being the athletic sort, remembered fairly quickly and was zooming around in no time. I took 20 minutes to get around the floor once. I fell so spectacularly on my butt at one point that people actually started clapping. Thankfully I haven’t lost much of my padding there yet so I wasn’t hurt at all. I hadn’t been on skates in 25 years. It’s not something that has been routine for me and, frankly, I’m surprised I got out there at all.
I seem to be getting more adventurous as I get older. I thought when I was younger that I was brash and exciting and adventurous. Maybe I was. I lost it along the way though. I started growing up and, to me, that meant not doing adventurous things. I had been raised with the idea that with growing up comes responsibility. Responsibility always sounded so serious I guess I supposed it must be. That meant that I had to be serious, too. Now that I’m actually a full-fledged adult, I’m finding out that it’s not that serious. I am allowed to explore and try new things. In fact, I am more free to do it than I ever have been before. As a young woman I was constrained by rules and expectations. As an adult, the only expectations I have to live up to are my own. If I waste a ton of money on something that doesn’t pan out, I have no one looking down on me judgmentally. The mantra in our house is generally, “We’ve spent more money on stupider things!” I am just now starting to allow myself to explore again and I am finding out that it’s fun.
I wonder if part of it isn’t that I am in a school now that is out of my comfort zone. I am naturally an English major. That’s where my strength is. I am in a science field now and it’s challenging me in ways I haven’t been challenged in in years. It’s making me wonder what else is out there that I can do and like. Whatever it is, I’m glad it’s finally entered my mind that I can try new things. It’s fun. Some of it is amazing and some of it isn’t, but it’s all new and makes me feel bold and brash and exciting again. Even if it is just artichoke hearts.