Driven by curiosity

Last week I noticed that I loved the word “curious”. And this week I discovered a whole post about curiosity by one of my favourite authors.

I am a big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. Both as a writer and as a person. I read almost every of her posts on Facebook and share many of them.

This Monday’s post was about a quote from her upcoming book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”, to appear on September 22 this year. This quote is about passion versus curiosity.

“Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times – a distant tower of flame, accessible only to geniuses, and to those who are specially touched by God. But curiosity is available to everyone.”

I can confirm this. I remember deciding many times in my life what my one and only and definite passion was, only finding out that I was searching for something else.

Here is what Liz wrote in the chat on this post:

“I feel like the word “passion” is yet another word (like “balance”) that women are using as weapons against themselves these days — I think that word can fill people with fear that they aren’t living their lives right. I always prescribe a search for curiosity, instead…it’s so much kinder!”

Yes, curiosity is much kinder. And now as I think back, it is definitely driven me on my way. Although, I used to think it was my passion. Now I am sure, it was curiosity.

I have tried many different hobbies and occupations. For hobbies I tried painting, cooking, knitting, crocheting, hand-crafting fashion jewellery, learning and teaching languages. Always driven by curiosity and eagerness to try something new, where the latter has it roots in curiosity, too.

And I loved all of these activities as well as many of the different jobs I done along the way. They covered among other teaching, marketing, physics, electronics engineering, consulting, quality assurance, programming and technical writing.

I discovered that I loved many aspects of the housework as well. I discovered I loved ironing and tidying up, finding new ways in arranging furniture, books, things around our home.

Curiosity led me to try new recipes. After finding out about my food intolerances, curiosity was the one to guide me out of initial despair. First, I wondered what other people did in my situation and started researching this. Then I became curious to find and be able to create something tasty and something new in what was acceptable for and by my body.

Now I understand, we can have varying passions, some with long and some with short lives, as well as several or many passions simultaneously. Passion for family and friends, passion for music, passion for art, passion for work and housework, passion for nature, sports, tasty meal, reading, writing, and many other.

And curiosity is the guide on our multidimensional way.

Here is another quote from Liz’s post:

“A curiosity-driven life is a beautiful thing. Following your curiosity begins a scavenger hunt that can lead you to amazing places…

It might even lead you to your passion.”

Curiosity ignited my passion for reading. My sister is eight years elder than I and as a young adult I was eager to try and learn many of what she did. I started reading the books she read. “The Ladies’ Paradise” by Emile Zola was one of them. It hooked me immediately. After this book I wanted to read more by Zola. I was both in awe of his virtuosity with story and words, but also disappointed by darkness of some of his short stories. So, I switched to other authors and found many that captivated me. But “The Ladies’ Paradise” and my curiosity to find out why my sister liked it was the start of my reading addiction.

Reading made me curious and wondering whether I could write as well. And I discovered I could. I discovered I simply loved writing and that my curiosity was ever growing about this very special and exciting world.

Pictures: Here is the fourth quote from the post, which impressed me in its entirety:

“Curiosity is the little voice that asks you to turn your head a quarter of an inch and look a bit closer at something.”

I took these photographs as I turned my head a quarter of an inch to the right and looked at the side-mirror on the way to our Easter vacation to Germany this year. I discovered a beautiful multiple reflection of a cloudy sky.

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