I was a bold, stubborn, curious, little girl who spent hours observing the world, carefully making notes in my mental filing cabinet about people and their behavior, animals and their habitats, and stories and their storytellers. I lived in an imaginary world and it took years for me to realize that all of the people I was watching could maybe be watching me back. I knew what I wanted, made it known, and had so. many. feelings. I also couldn’t bear wearing socks and was often found gallivanting around in rain boots in peak summer months because I wouldn’t wear shoes.
As some of you who know me well can tell, not much has changed (though I have fully embraces socks). I still feel things intensely and am easily overcome with anger at injustice, sadness around loss, and stoke when pumped. I still love watching people in their natural habitat and my work as a coach is such a gift in that way, allowing me not just to observe but connect with fully alive beings every day. I’m still bold, and I regularly bring my undaunted 5 year old self who would always figure out a way of climbing the tallest tree or playing with the big kids or staying up the latest, to my business each and every day.
But I’ve been lacking curiosity these days. I’ve stubbornly insisted on holding on to beliefs with an iron tight fist because certainty, even when wrong, feels safe. I haven’t been leaning into curiosity with humility and hope because I so like being in control. Curiosity leaves room for doubt which opens the door for Saboteurs. And isn’t it so much easier to just close the door?
But when I look at this photo (one recently discovered by a cousin of mine in France), I’m reminded that awe, wonder, growth, beauty, and aliveness really does come from curiosity. This little girl knew what she wanted and stubbornly held on but just as quickly let go and embraced the surprise that comes with changing her mind or a new perspective on things.
Some things are non-negotiable. But I wonder what would happen if I made more room for, well, room. What would fill that space? What meanderings of thought would form if I gave them room to breathe? The 5 year old inside of me is excited to find out.