For some reason, there’s a plethora of heavy-set women at work who play games on their phone in the break room. A plethora might be an exaggeration, but honestly, I feel like there’s more than there should be for one work place. And it’s not like they come in a group. Any time I walk into a break room, someone is sitting there playing a game on their phone. And for some reason, it really bothers me. I’m not going to say I’m innocent by any means. There have been multiple conference calls that I’ve been on where I’ll put myself on mute and play my phone’s version of Text Twist. I should probably just drop it, but it really bothers me.
I’ll just drop it…
Last weekend, I realized that your world gets indefinitely smaller as you get older. I went shopping at Ikea, and as we were walking into the warehouse section where you can pick out bigger items, I heard a father tell his two sons, “We’re almost to the end guys! Look at how big this room is. Isn’t it big?” And the two little boys looked up around in pure amazement, because, I’m sure at that point in their life, they had never seen a room that big before. When you’re young, there’s a strong change that every day, you’re discovering something that you never knew before. I’m not sure that any little kid really comprehends the size of their world. I’m not sure if there is a desire to discover, because everything is always so new. At that point in our life, we are just trying to consume and process as much information as we can.
But as we grow up, we start to recognize patterns and similarities in everything in our life. Our experiences may be slightly different, but ultimately, we can tie them to something we’ve already experienced. We start to say things like “It tastes like chicken” and “If you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all.” I think that’s when we start to develop the desire to learn and experience something new and exciting to us. We like the feeling of experiencing something for the first time. We want to do something we’ve never done before.
Personally, by the time I was done with college, I wanted to expand the world that I knew. I knew that there was more out there to experience, and I tried to consume as much as possible. It’s an overwhelming feeling to realize that there are great books that I will never read (even though I’ve read great books), great music that I will never hear (even though I’ve heard great music), places that I will never see (even though I’ve been to great places) and great food that I’ll never eat (even though I’ve had great food). We also get excited when we show someone else something they’ve never seen before that we think is great. And although I’ve never done it, I think that’s what happens when we start a family and have kids.
For a lot of parents, there is an excitement of exposing your kids to the great world that you know. While you may have a desire to discover a greater world, you now get excited from seeing your family’s excitement for new things. But you get in the habit of doing the same things and seeing the same people. Your group of friends gets a little smaller and most of your free time may be spent doing similar activities with this small group.
When I look at my grandma’s world, she now has a handful of close friends, her family, and her routine. That is her world now. The desire to discover new things has passed, and I think at that point, she accepts the things that she has experienced as things in the past. She relies on similarities and patterns, and that’s completely fine by her. And realistically, that’s the small world that she is happy and content with.
Mother’s day was last weekend, and that’s when I realized how grateful I am to have a mother that made it her mission to expose me to the great things in her world. The great things I have experienced are only because she gave me the opportunity to be exposed to them. And that gift is even more amazing knowing the amount of love and sacrifice it took to get to that point. She didn’t want me to just experience her world; she wanted to put me in a position that allowed me to experience more things than she had the chance to. And I realized that the gratitude for that kind of selflessness can not be crammed into a Hallmark card.
I am extremely lucky to be put in a situation that allows me to have experienced great things, but am also lucky to have old and new friends expose me to things they think are great. Two years ago, I was literally writing a Mother’s Day post in my apartment wondering if things would ever change from the way they were. But now, I’m meeting friends of loved ones, who not only love the ones that I love but share an excitement about experiencing new things, and want to show me those things because I’m part of their loved one’s world. How could I ever say that I’m not lucky?
Thank you for exposing me to the things I know and your willingness to expose me to the things I don’t.
– The New Gamer