Hello, lovely reader. How are you doing this morning?
Today I’d like to talk about spontaneity, which I just decided right this second. (Not really, but that would have been so cool!) Spontaneity in popular culture is often portrayed as one of two things: irresponsible or romantic. Katherine Heigl jumping onto an already moving boat at the end of 27 Dresses is a good example of both. That jump is a ridiculous thing to do in heels, but the woman had to get to James Marsden. Fair enough.
Small children are very good at being spontaneous in their own way, because they haven’t learned “the rules” yet. If they see something that interests them, regardless of what they were already doing, they will toddle off towards it on a determined voyage of discovery. Nine times out of ten they will also try to grab it and/or eat it. As teenagers we rediscover this sense of freedom in momentary decisions, but this time we call it “rebellion” because we are testing out a new set of toys: drinking, going on road trips, pulling all-nighters, driving to McDonalds at six in the morning and so on and so forth. At the same time we are also learning to make decisions based on long-term considerations: which subjects to study, which universities to apply to, where to travel on our gap year. We are slowly being drawn out of the world of irresponsible snap-decisions into the scary scenario of proper grown-up stuff, and although we don’t like it, we all give in eventually.
As we get older the moments of spontaneity become smaller and less consequential to the course of our lives. That’s a massive generalisation, because obviously people of all ages can make huge, life-changing decisions on a whim, but think about it: spontaneity when I was nineteen was getting a tattoo. Nowadays it’s going to an unfamiliar pub.
Having said that, last night some friends and I went to a pub quiz in Islington (which we came second in. Very proud). We were having such a great time that we decided to move on to another pub – it was St. Patrick’s Day, after all – but we got distracted by a children’s playground for several minutes. We went on the swings, the see-saw and a weird spirally thing that none of us understood, but was pretty cool. One or more of us may have fallen off at one point, but that’s by the by.
Childish whimsy aside, the spontaneity of doing something fun just because it’s there in front of you is a wonderful activity to rediscover, and I highly recommend it to you. As adults spontaneity has become an expensive and/or a bad thing: that last round of drinks that you’ll regret tomorrow morning, for example. I think it would be nice to rediscover the potential joy in spontaneity, particularly because there are ways to experience it without terrible consequences. I mean, I’ve got a bruise on my knee from last night’s excursions, but that’s no big deal. When I was six years old that happened all the time.
Have an amazing Tuesday. Give me a shout if you fancy going on the swings.