[October 15th, 2015]
The feeling of newness.
Clearly, I spent a lot of time reflecting over stuff and possessions throughout this adventure thus far. I've had to! When you make it a goal to get rid of everything you own and pack your life down to a suitcase to pursue a minimalist, nomadic lifestyle, you must.
Where yesterday's ideas end and where today's ideas begin is right here: on the feeling of newness, but also with a balance of gratitude. We need both, people.
I started thinking about this craving that we all experience for something new—it could be for anything! A new shirt, a new haircut, a new job... where on earth does it come from? Does it only come from a lazy place? From a natural reluctancy to take everything we already have for granted and frolic off into the world in search of something new? No, I don't think we're that nutty — though I am of the opinion that we've allowed this idea of "chronic dissatisfaction" to overtake us, without knowing it.
Where else does this sensation of needing newness come from? In all my thought processing, I think I found it!
Many of you, if you're friends and family, know a little about how fascinated I am with languages, cultures, and human spirituality—humanity, in general. I find that so much of life's magic is hidden in the nuance of our varying languages, cultures, and spiritual beliefs.
After contemplating the idea of newness this week, I recalled something quite practical that exists in both Arabic culture + Israeli/Jewish culture that I've come to know in my life:
Growing up, whenever I got something new—anything from a new doll to a new haircut, my mother would wish me, Mabrook!—congratulations!— for my new thing.
When I started learning Hebrew and learning more about Jewish faith, I started hearing a similar phrase from my Israeli girlfriends whenever I received a new thing—again, from a new piece of clothing to a new haircut, or even a new apartment or a new job—they would tell me Ti-tchad-chi! (תתחדשי\תתחדש). The root of this phrase in Hebrew means "new".
Similar phrases may exist in other languages, cultures, or spiritualities, but being so close to these ones I looked them up — desperately curious on why they originated— and I discovered that they both come from a spiritual idea of "renewal".
The wish, on a spiritual level, is that in saying Mabrook! or תתחדש, you wish someone luck in their new thing; you wish someone a wonderful sense of renewal. How beautiful is that?? It's that "pleasure purchase" feeling we were talking about—but on a deeper level, of course.
And how interesting! The idea of recreation. It is obviously so very important as we move throughout our lives for so many reasons—similar to the way reptiles shed old skin to grow and get a little refresh. When it comes to Leaving Wooster, it is also, in a very strong way, exactly what Aviv + I are doing here. We are making space to renew and recreate (in our own way).
This idea of renewal and needing newness is all apart of being alive; and humanity needs it both on a micro, and macro level.
So on the day to day level, when it comes to less is more and feeling gratitude for what we already have, there is also a separation that takes a certain level of awareness and maturity: you must know (for yourself!) when it's appropriate to feel gratitude for what you already have in your life, and when it's time to go off in search of renewal—something new.
I want to argue that both are so equally necessary—and I want to argue that our mission should be to cultivate a balance between the two.
I woke up this morning and I realized that each and every one of us whose heart continues to beat actually has the opportunity to recognize and practice both a sense of gratitude and a sense of renewal each and every day when we wake up again to the world—no money spending necessary. We can all choose to recognize and have a sense of gratitude for our life that already exists and continues, and a sense of renewal for the new day before us, the opportunity and possibility before us. It's a total Carpe Diem! moment.
This obviously went down the rabbit hole — a bit far from the topic of pleasure purchasing; but you know, why not? We can dig a little deeper every once in a while, right?
תתחדשו, everyone, may you have a wonderful new day ahead!