Curiosity and Courage

First things first: if you are participating in the RSBC Challenge this year, send me your week 2 recipes/blogposts by tomorrow at midnight. lizzie (at) motherrunner (dot) com. I’ll be posting them on Wednesday. Also, check out Christy’s post for this week’s challenge ingredient. It’s a good one. Christy’s not letting us off easy, that’s for sure. This concludes the business portion of today’s post.
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I happen to know that a lot of people are interested in fashion. In clothes and shoes and accessories. Sometimes they talk about the “shape” or the “profile” or how a fabric “drapes” or “flows.”

This is a foreign language to me, but one that intrigues me whenever I hear it. I wonder how it is these people see so many things that I do not see when I look at the same thing they are looking at. I wonder if it is difficult to learn this language. I wonder if one day I might be able to speak it, even a little bit. And I wonder if maybe, one day, I might be able to dress like a native.

Or not.

You see, I happen to be “bad” at fashion. I am pretty comfortable in my jeans and t-shirts and rarely get anywhere close to the edge of fashion, where I am told true fashionableness lies. For a long time I didn’t really care. And to be honest, I still don’t think it is terribly important.

The thing is, everyone has to wear clothes, and I might as well try doing it well. Besides, it has its perks: making good impressions, appearing more interesting than I actually am, receiving validating comments from those who know what fashion is. True, sometimes I feel like they are patronizing me when I do something outside my normal scope: “Oh, you look so good! That’s so cute on you!” The same way a native might encourage a tourist who stumbles over every word but is trying so hard and is determined to speak the language no matter how awkward and difficult it is.

But whatever. It’s really not about becoming fashionable. It’s about exploration, stretching myself, trying new things, learning a different language. I’m curious about what it feels like to “rock that look” or to understand how to balance colorful patterns with conservative cuts (and vice versa). For too long I avoided even thinking about fashion, telling myself I could never pull off something even slightly daring, only to find that it’s not so bad, and maybe even a little bit good for my confidence level.

I mention this because Micah is . . . inflexible. Perhaps the most inflexible person I’ve ever met. And for a long time he avoided stretching and yoga because he was not good at it. Lately, however, he’s realized that his inflexibility is precisely why he should be stretching and trying different poses and learning to relax and flow as he tries to hold his body in an extremely awkward and uncomfortable position.

It’s inspiring to see him work at something because he is not good at it. He’s curious about how this could change his body, and he’s willing to explore and be open to the possibility that there’s something beneficial in this process.

He will probably not become a yoga master. In fact, he may never even get to the point where he can touch his toes. But I admire his openness to being taught and improved upon, to seeing what all the fuss is about.

Let’s not let our weaknesses get in the way of our curiosity. Life is too short and the world is too big.

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1 Comment

  1. Amen! I always have to remind myself when I start something new that I’ll only feel like a dunce for a little while, and then one day I’ll realize that what was so difficult for me at first has now become comfortable (or better yet, second-nature). Also, how did we turn out to be the two girls with little (in your case) to no (in my case) fashion sense? I’ve just become used to people only complimenting my clothes when I’m wearing something a different sister bought. 🙂

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