Tonight is the opening reception for the summer exhibit at the DeCordova museum in Lincoln, MA – I’m gonna go. I am a member at the museum, so my admittance is always free, a little benefit that I enjoy periodically, but on the opening night after an hour or so for members only – the museum is also open to the public for free as well. They do an excellent job, and usually also serve appetizers, wine and beer and often also have some sort of live music playing. On several occasions, I have met up with friends and enjoyed the evening together, but tonight my usual companions have other plans so I am going to go it alone. I could mention it to other folks to see if anyone else wants to join me, but at this point my inclination is to go it alone.
There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t have considered such a thing. I would have felt odd or uncomfortable attending an event like an art opening on my own. Seems silly to me now that, that was ever the case and it’s hard to imagine that such a thing would have ever been intimidating for me – but it was. I am sure that many opportunities and events were missed because of that attitude, and I think that’s too bad. When I look back at my life I definitely see that at one point I would have described myself as shy and socially on the awkward side of things but that is definitely not true of me today. Nowadays, there are certainly things that I would rather do with friends, but few that I would not do alone. At this point it is more about sharing the enjoyment of such an event with a friend but knowing I will still enjoy myself in a different way alone. I can safely say I enjoy experiencing life all on my own as much as I do with the company of friends.
Thinking about this personal phenomenon really brings home for me the individual capacity for change in one’s life. I think a lot of us accept the idea of “this is just how I am” thereby blocking the opportunity for evolution. Change can be unsettling and unnerving – but it is definitely not impossible. With each day we have a myriad of opportunities to react to situations in our lives in our “typical way” or to choose to do or try something different. The choice is always there, always present and how we confront it is our choice. Sure there are many opportunities to just say “no, that’s not me” but those same opportunities present an opportunity for trying something different.
I am all for knowing yourself, for having your beliefs, convictions, interests and preferences – and I am also for trying to remain open to new opportunities and possibilities for evolution. Life is so full of opportunities – we can choose to experience them or not. There are things about myself and my life that I value just the way they are – but I guess I can add “embracing the opportunity for new experiences and change as one of them”. It’s a bit of a paradox, but I am good with that. I’m not a big fan of stagnation – is anyone? Life is full of possibilities, which ones will you allow yourselves to entertain today? Go ahead try something new, you never know you might discover a new aspect of yourself that you really like…