Let me start with one thing we can all agree on: we are currently living in an uncomfortably polarized and opinionated world.
We live amidst more information than we know what to do with, and yet it seems like our current perspectives are only being further ingrained, rather than adequately challenged.
If we’re being honest, we can acknowledge that we live in social bubbles. These bubbles are formed by the often like-minded individuals we surround ourselves with and end up dictating a lot about how we view the society we live in.
Now, let’s just stop here for a second.
This is not a political post, so please – take a deep breath. I could feel you starting to tense up over there.
I just want to draw attention to the fact that these social bubbles are not just influencing our political opinions – they can also have a significant impact on our personal passions and interests.
We can naturally default to enjoying the same activities as those closest to us. However, we owe it to ourselves, and especially our loved ones, to explore the passions that make us feel more fulfilled.
As a 29-year-old, I only got into running five years ago. It took a cross-continental move and a serendipitous meeting of my now best friend, Hope, for me to finally have someone in my inner circle that was into running.
Previously, I didn’t have any friends that were interested in:
- waking up early on a Saturday to go get some miles in before the sun had its way with us,
- mapping out routes on poorly labeled trail maps scattered all over the kitchen table,
- punishing ourselves through long and winding switchbacks to enjoy a well-earned view, and
- relishing in the post-run exhaustion while crushing any, and all, of the food we desired.
Before meeting Hope, I was aware that I enjoyed running and that I had an unexplained natural knack for it. However, I never pursued it. It was so much easier to subscribe to the life I was already leading.
The content I was being funnelled on social media was also making it easy for my interests to remain unchanged. I was being fed the same regurgitated crap I was already consuming. Said metaphorically: it was the same yarn, just spun a different way.
I had no idea what I could possibly be missing out on. At the time, it didn’t seem like I was missing out on anything.
Luckily, I happened to make a new friend and with a little bit of effort I began to explore my new interest in trail running with her.
I thought I had stumbled upon a new dependable running partner. Little did I know, Hope was also (and still is!):
- The Magician, who taught me (the rookie) all the tricks of the trade, such as how to get all the air out of your water bladder so you don’t have to hear the lovely swishy-swashy sounds of the water for your entire run (which can really make you need to go pee!)
- The Foolhearted, who taught me that “because it seems like fun!” was as good of a reason as any to keep signing up for longer and longer races
- The Armourer, who introduced me to all the gear I would need, like toe socks!
- The Confidant, who has listened, and somehow always responded, to all my incoherent thoughts and ramblings that come from delusional mid-run conversations
- The Supporter, who has woken up at the earliest of hours to come out to some of my races and yell her signature, “Woo! Go Fraser, Go! Woo!”
I am so fortunate to have found Hope. I really am. I will always argue that she is one-of-a-kind, however, I am equally confident that there are individuals, or groups of individuals, that are just waiting to share their interests and passions with you.
Running, hiking, luging, salsa dancing, ceramics, soap carving, what-the-fuck-ever it is. Go do it!
Break out of your comfortable bubble! Lean in to something new and exciting!
What do you really have to lose? Absolutely nothing. Sure, you might just find yourself in yet another social bubble, but then you can just read this blog post again, and again, and again!
And, what do you have to gain? Well, without being too dramatic: you could uncover a new passion that causes you to re-prioritize how you live your life.
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Thanks for reading. I’ll catch you at the Lake Merritt Boating Center on Wednesday mornings at 6:28a. #NP_OAK. Y’all good?