Make Something

(image by  @dallasclayton )

(image by @dallasclayton)

I adore traveling to new places to experience sights, sounds, and sensations I've never known. Even in my own city, one of my favorite activities is driving to a neighborhood I don't regularly visit to walk around. I enjoy watching my senses come alive when I'm in unknown territory. Whereas in a known place I'd naturally ignore small details in order to create cognitive simplicity, in a new place, I become aware of tiny details — a red door, a spiraled flower, post-modern architecture, or the shadows of a hundred-year old oak tree. 

Exploration of unknown territory is exciting and stimulating, and can also slightly scary. Most people want to know... what happens if I get lost, what if I encounter strangers, or what do I do if someone recognizes me as an outsider and questions whether or not I belong there? 

The same process unfolds internally whenever I make something new. Whether I'm writing an essay and staring at a blank page, creating an improv scene from nothing, or building an educational program from scratch, there is simultaneous enthusiasm and apprehension.  

The fear of rejection or failure is why most people like to play it safe. Operating within perceived norms and doing what is expected isn't very risky... But it also isn't very interesting. The most revolutionary inventions and creations have come from individuals who break rules, destroy boundaries, and disassemble existing structure to build something brand new.  

Structure, order, and organization are fundamental to a solid foundation. However, stuck inside the fundamentals, the brain can become a fundamentalist, structure can become rigid, order can become obsession, and organization can become routine boredom.  

Every so often, it's essential to break down existing structure in order to build something new. Interesting creations rarely come out of that which has already been done. What's new today will be old news tomorrow, which, I think, it a good thing. It means that our ability to create will continue to expand and evolve, as long as we are willing to test the limits of our own potential.