Curiosity and The Seeker

Just a photo of my laptop and a certain article I was fortunate to be apart of. 

About a year ago I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a magazine article in one of the most exciting industries out there; accounting.  Maybe excitement isn’t the first word that comes to mind but I’ve always enjoyed my job and the industry in which I’m attached to so c’est la vie!

The reason why I bring this up is I recently finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. A book focusing on the creative process interspersed with funny, personal stories, that really bring the idea of creativity out of the clouds and into a tangible, reachable affair. Near the end of the book Elizabeth talks briefly about the idea of curiosity. Be curious versus passionate when it comes to creativity because the barriers to entry aren’t quite as high. It left an impression on me to say the least.

When I heard about the article I was to be interviewed for the basis was up-and-comers within the industry so naturally I was flattered but there wasn’t any direction on the types of questions to be asked so I waited patiently until the fateful day when I would have my phone interview. A phone interview with a really nice editor who went through a series of questions about my career to date and a question about what I attributed my success too.

No big deal; just a summary of what had gotten me to where I was to that point. A nice concise reason for what had led me down the path I was at and why perceived success had followed me. Not speaking for anyone else but the only time this thought has ever crossed my mind is when I’ve frustratingly attempted to update my resume or when sitting in a job interview sweating under the lamps. Here it was over the phone.

So the answer came as combination of the usual line. Hard work, keeping my head down and getting the job done. Directly out of a textbook. Wait, what’s this, running out of left field the fact that I like learning.

Huh?

Umm , yea I like to learn..things. More specifically learning and the process of having my mind blown about about some new topic or idea I previously knew nothing about. Anything and everything is fair game.

So that popped out and unbeknownst to me with careful editing and much better wording ended up in the article. Each of the individuals were given a tagline for their respective careers and mine landed on The Seeker. Some other notables and perhaps more suiting to an article about up-and-comers: The Collaborative Leader, The Standard-Setter, and The Visionary. A rather confusing description for someone in my field. Curiously, also what people that are in the field, saw the article and may on the off chance recognize me, remember.  I’m The Seeker.

It was clear to me what it was based on.  The idea of seeking out knowledge and always wanting to learn. Why is that a difficult thing to describe to someone when a sarcastic Harry Potter reference pops out. It’s all in good fun and to be honest I’m proud of the article. My mom framed it; thanks mom.

Big Magic comes along and there was the description I’ve been seeking for what it is that I base part of my success on.  The scavenger hunt that is curiosity. If there isn’t a book in hand, article on the go, questions going through my mind at all times of the day then it’s not a normal day for me. It doesn’t immediately ring as a successful trait nor is it easy to describe yet here it was.

“Following that scavenger hunt of curiosity can lead you to amazing, unexpected places. It may eventually lead you to your passion – albeit through a strange, untraceable passageway of back alleys, underground caes, and secret doors. Or it may lead you nowhere.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Those moments when you read a passage in a book and feel the chills coarse across the skin and for a few moments you feel alive and in sync with the flow of life.  Well that’s a good description of these two seemingly random, unrelated events in my life as I read the pages.  The Seeker has simply been a description for this undefined process I’ve been unknowingly following my whole life. A scavenger hunt that is curiosity.

A year ago when that article was written there was no meditation, no blog, glimmers of writing but privately in a journal, and no photography. Curiosity has brought me to this point because deep down the “Yes” inside of me always wins out to try something new. To take a leap and see what happens. To never stop asking questions or following those strange pathways towards answering those questions. The idea of mindfulness and meditation has become something I thoroughly enjoy on a personal level but also enjoy reading and learning about. This blog, writing, and photography have become a creative outlet that was previously unknown to me. There was no creativity I would have associated in my life previous to this.

Elizabeth also goes on to say that simply living a life following that curiosity may lead to having nothing to show for it and somedays that’s exactly how I feel but there is contentment in reading those words across a page. A small acknowledgement of what I have felt for a long time. If all this leads to nothing then so be it. It was created however and that is enough.

To those few who may stumble across this, I’d say stay curious and say yes to those questions that pop-up and lead you down strange an unexpected paths. When you find those paths go down them and see where else they may lead. Just don’t stop looking. If you run into a wall chances are you may have crossed a path that you didn’t go down but now is a perfect time to revisit. Photography was that hidden path for me. I took hundreds of photos in the past and did nothing with them. They weren’t meaningful at the time but rather capturing moments in time.

With a new found interest in photography they suddenly had a life of their own. They representing a building block from which to go back and learn from and start adding too. Seeing old photos and how I looked at the world and remembering the stories associated with them. This may lead to nothing but it has my attention and there are already new paths opening up because of it. Who knows where this will lead.

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