I was feeling very curious on Tuesday. Curiosity is nothing new to me; I have questions about everything and anything, I’m interested in learning new things about old things, I like figuring things out whether with my hands or my mind, though considerably less so with my heart (that shit hurts when you get something wrong). Tuesday was a fairly balmy Michigan winter day, the mercury inching up the thermometer to hit a nearly sweltering 40 degrees. I rifled through my pile of jackets and coats to pull out my corduroy ‘fall’ jacket – short and snug, slightly reminiscent of my ex-boyfriend’s regular spring/fall coat – same color, same wale of corduroy. I think I bought it while we were still together, hopefully not consciously trying to be matchy-matchy. I don’t remember wearing it while he lived here.
Getting ready to leave for school I got ballsy enough to leave my gloves in the pocket of my winter coat, feeling like I would regret it when the temperature dropped at 6 pm when my last class let out and I had to walk halfway across campus to get to my car, but doing it anyway. Okay, so that wasn’t curious, but it was adventurous, and adventure has a lot in common with curiosity. They kind of go hand in hand. If they had hands.
I drove to school and took studious notes in Sociology, hanging on to almost every word my kind-of adorable professor said, called a friend whose voice I hadn’t heard in a while, ate a bunch of delicious banana chips, took pretty studious notes in Art History while also watching videos of one of my favorite street artists, Blu, and walked a new way across campus to my last class, discovering that I needn’t have wasted $1.50 on a caramel mocha McCafe from the Student Center when there was a small but perfectly serviceable Starbucks hiding in plain sight on the west side of campus, serendipitously close to the last classroom I needed to grace with my presence. Exploring! Curiosity! Adventure on the high seas!
During my last class (POL 3410, the Immigrant Experience, in case you’re wondering), I took fairly studious notes while poking around on a website (grain edit) I’ve followed on twitter for some time but have rarely looked at in depth. grain edit in turn led me to individual artist websites, other design-centric blogs and sites, and a whole new way of thinking about art and getting excited about my design and artistic future. When I wasn’t looking at C.S. Paul‘s or Ray Fenwick‘s charming typographical illustrations, I was digging around online for more information about what my professor was talking about (the Holy Experiment, namely).
After class, I wandered around the building a little bit before making my way to the parking garage. It’s the Manoogian Hall, Wayne State University’s ethnic heritage hall – and it’s gorgeous. The room my class meets in is the Armenian Room and is lushly decorated with portraits of notable Armenians through the ages (Vahan Tekeyan, Komitas Vartabed), traditional wood carvings, and painted wall murals. Downstairs I peeked into the Polish, German, and Arabic rooms, and can’t wait to pop my head into the other cultural rooms in the following weeks and see what wonders they hold.
On my walk to my car (sans gloves – and only just barely regretting it), I called my mom and talked to her about some ideas I had for my blog and my art – inviting blog readers and friends to challenge me to make something, with rewards for the suggestions. I talked to her about some of my difficulties with my ideas and putting them into motion, and we brainstormed on how I could make them a reality. It’s always good to have someone to talk to who knows your trials, tribulations, and talent. Those minds should be explored.
I was pleased to find out that the parking garage I had ventured into, for the first time ever that day, was by far the easiest one to get out of so far, and also the closest to the freeway. Score one for exploring. Wait, should I have been keeping score all along? Then it’s probably up to at least +5 for adventure/curiosity/exploring.
At the gym that night, I challenged myself to bump past the 2 mile mark on my treadmill run. A few months ago I was running 3-5 miles at a time, 3-4 days a week, but since I’ve been working out the past month, I’d only hit the 2 mile mark and even that was a struggle. I stuck to a steady pace, and as usual, the 1 mile hump hit me pretty hard but I soldiered on until I got to 1 and a half miles, 2 miles, 2 and a quarter miles. Coming off the machine, I nearly cried with relief and an overwhelming sense of self-success. One million sugarplum fairies sprinkled happy rainbow dust all around me. But I didn’t stop there – curious to see if I could manage, I upped all my weights in the weight room and did a 2 full circuits of lower and upper body. (Here’s where my penchant for punishment comes in) Then I hopped on the elliptical for a half hour. After the hottestly hot shower, I just barely made it out the door just as the gym was closing.
I felt amazing. I don’t know if it was purely the workout endorphins, or the aesthetic glee I got from looking at gorgeous art and websites all day, or the sense of excitement, however small, I got from exploring my campus on a relatively nice winter day day, or if it was the elixir concoction of all three.
And it made me realize I need to explore more, in order to get more out of life. People, places, things. Friends, restaurants/shops, my art. Family, Detroit, my feelings. Strangers, my neighborhood, books. Acquaintances, the places I want to travel, my health goals.
Every day, something.
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started… and know the place for the first time.”