I said I would publish this blog later, here it is….
I have always had an insatiable curiosity for all things. I couldn’t sleep last night. My mind was racing through thoughts processing something I had read in this book “Sapiens”. I would recommend you get a copy, or peek inside here. Don’t trust me? Here’s a review.
Back to my story, I got a little angry at myself for not being able to shut my brain off on command. And then remembered, “oh yeah, I love to learn.”
I have loved it all my life. And, it’s usually been a wide range of subjects that catch my interest. I remember my acting teacher Richard Robichaux once told my class, “the only thing you need for a great actor is an endless amount of curiosity.”…that may not be the exact quote, but it’s close. It was like he had handed me a golden chalice. That was me! I can’t contain my god damn curiosity! I thought I was just unfocused, turns out I just want to know the story behind everything….
However, curiosity and a thirst for knowledge is definitely a double edged sword. Especially when you combine it with a growing sense of restlessness and a lack of discipline. It’s probably one of my biggest strengths, and one of my most subtle weaknesses.
As a child, this thirst for knowledge was encouraged by most, and frustrating to a few. I started school around the age of 4. I went to preschool and Kindergarten at a place called Little Red Schoolhouse. It was a private Montessori school in Houston that my grandmother worked at. She would bring me there during the day I think as sort of a free daycare for my mom, and I would play alone in the front office of the school. The principal of the school, Mrs. Finch, immediately took notice of my “intelligence” for being so young and urged my grandmother to put me into classes there. They did.
In one of my preschool classes I apparently had asked one of my teachers so many questions that she put me in timeout. Timeout there consisted of seating the child outside of the classroom on a bench. My grandmother happened to be walking by and saw me sitting outside. She inquired with the teacher why she needed to punish me, and the teacher said I was challenging her authority by asking her questions she didn’t know the answers to in regards to the subject she was teaching. I was 4. She was in her 30’s. Probably not the best vocation for her. Either way, it’s become a funny story that has been retold many times throughout my life. And it’s been a pattern that didn’t stop there.
Going on into elementary school, I asked more questions than probably necessary, read lots of books, and watch as much educational TV as possible. My mom had a hard time telling me not to watch television because I mostly watched Discovery channel, History Channel, or the “Nature” channel when that was still a thing.
As a tween and teen, I excelled at most subjects with little effort. My brain was like a sponge and as long as I paid attention in class, which I didn’t always do, I usually could pretty quickly master the gist of whatever thing we were learning.
This ability to easily attain good grades though had its own shortcomings. I realized I could just place greater focus on the things that really mattered to me and sort of tune the rest out. I didn’t feel that drive to be amazing at all academic subjects. I usually had low A’s or high B’s with little to no effort outside of the classroom….I sometimes cared even less, but then I was caught and would be forced for a time to really put some effort into the subject I had disregarded.
Getting into college, my curiosity abounded for almost every subject I took. I knew I wanted to be an actor, but with all these new found subjects i could see myself as a director, writer, playwright, scholar, sociopolitical academic, designer, programmer, and on and on and on…I forgot or maybe never truly learned the importance of focus and discipline. Getting great at a few things didn’t seem at the time as appealing as soaking up and doing as much as I could.
Once I found partying, the same rules applied. Drinking and drugs to an overly curious person can be an incredibly dangerous combination. That same urge to know everything about the world around me extended into this “darker” world I had only read about and saw in the movies. Now, I could explore the depths of this side of life as well. And, explore I did.
But, this isn’t about my days of excess. It’s about learning. Which I did a lot of during my days of excess. There were highs and lows, but overall, I learned for me that’s dangerous, dumb, and a waste of time and energy. I have abstained from drinking alcohol and all drugs since the latter part of 2014…except caffeine…I do love me some coffee.
“Young Adult” Austin
Getting into the real world this overly curious and unsatisfied nature was not conducive to a great stab into the workforce. Not to mention I also graduated a year after the big economy collapse. But, even if jobs had been in surplus I might have missed it being more caught up in what I wanted to do.
I don’t know that I ever figured the whole work force thing out. I worked a great variety of jobs in the 3 to 5 years after graduation. Some were fun and some were insane. I ended up starting a company with my grandfather doing freelance web work for small business clients.
Making my own schedule and the ability to dictate what work I actually wanted to do were the idealistic notions of owning a business. However, it doesn’t always work that easily. I do have a lot of jurisdiction over my time. However, so do my clients and so does the work I do for them.
But, I get to tell stories about how awesome my clients are. As a company, we get really in-depth with our clients and learn what makes them so awesome at what they do and why they do it. Then, we put that story on the web in their unique voice through a comprehensive content strategy.We have built our business on learning everything we can about other people’s businesses. By doing that, we teach their audience, or potential audience, about why they should be loyal to our clients.
It’s kind of like being an investigative journalist for hire, but you attach a lot of additional data research and lead conversion numbers to the editorial, copy, and distribution work you do. So, I’m constantly learning. That works well for my personality.
And, in my daily life, I just keep reminding myself that I’m still learning…I probably always will be. But, it’s something I truly love to do.