Friday, August 5, 2016

What's New? – Erich

Yesterday, I swam in the Andaman Sea. A few weeks ago, I had never even heard of the Andaman Sea. Now I have heard of it, seen it, and been in it.

The Andaman Sea is part of the Indian Ocean. It stretches between India and Southeast Asia. And it is warm. It's not like swimming in the Atlantic. Even in the summer, the Atlantic is cool if not cold when you first enter it. Not so here, this ocean is warm.

So there I was swimming in the Andaman Sea. And it got me thinking. This was new, a whole ocean I had not been able to swim in before. (Though I had stuck my foot in the Indian Ocean at the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas.)

And what occurred to me was that I have had so many new experiences in the past year that new isn't in and of itself new. And yet, even with the sameness of newness, there is still something wonderful about newness. I am still learning every time. I am changing and becoming more. And the exposure to new is a big part of that.

I have been to the southernmost point in Africa. That was new. I have wandered the narrow canyon like streets of Moroccan medinas. New. I have taken care of horses in southern France. I have seen the Acropolis and then within a couple of weeks seen the pieces of the Acropolis in the British Museum. I have spoken to Europeans in the days leading up to the Brexit vote, hearing many sides of the affair. I have lived on the steep narrow streets of Istanbul. I have spent months being woken each morning by the pre-dawn call to prayer, almost a competition of calls from all the nearby mosques. I have eaten coconut milk with chicken and galangal root soup. I've had fresh, warm bread from a Turkish bakery as well as a Portuguese one.

The world is amazing. There is so much new!

And so as I was thinking, I cast back to my life in the States. You know, there were a lot of opportunities for new there as well. Maybe if I didn't get as much newness, it was partially because of me. Of course, I had a job and other commitments. This naturally imposed a certain routine and sameness in my life. But there were still chances for me to get out there, to see something new, to do something new, to eat something new. Did I take full advantage of it?

Do you?

If we all stay as eager to try new, as willing to go outside our comfort zones, and as curious as we can be, our lives will be richer. And we will understand one another more. And we will see the greatness that the world has to offer.

YOLO, right? Everyone commit to L the H out it! Try something new today, you might not like it, but you will be at least a little bit different because of it.

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