My Journey of Curiosity.

Killed no cats, but ended up in West Wales.

Where do you go to grow?

Would you be tempted to go find a tiny village in Wales, named after a form of clothing — Cardigan — to go to a small scale event called the Do Lectures?

Or as my best friend kept calling them — the “dole” lectures? With the Brexit timing, the latter may have been closer to the point — sorry Do Team for the sly dig — that’s what you get for inviting a token Irish girl along!

“Why the hell are you so bloody curious all the time?” was a consistent question directed at me over the past few months. To put into context, I had been blowing up on instagram (I do admit, maybe only slightly more than usual) in an attempt to win a golden ticket for the chance to attend DO Lectures in Wales.

That question, once I arrived at the farm suddenly transformed into a version of “So how did you end up here? What brings you here?”
Where the magic happened

Both of these questions led to many interesting conversations over the past few months. In retrospect, these conversations of curiosity between my own self and others have brought me into a whole new realm of books, company and mini adventures I would not have stumbled upon had I not taken the chance to explore this curiosity. My questions led to more questions, which resulted in opening up many other doors of opportunities. Luckily, persistance and determination often results in satisfactory results.

It did of course help, not having wifi in the houses I lived in for the past year!

Curiosity is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “the desire to learn more or know more about anything.” It is that element of that playful child we each carry within us, whether we choose to listen to them or not. It is the act of seeking and acquiring useless information, which may later link up to create a useful innovative idea.

Have you ever thought about why humans read a newspaper? Why we decide to chat to our neighbours? Why we decide to have hobbies, play sports, celebrate occasions together, travel, play music, dance, climb mountains? The more you think about these day to day seemingly unproductive habits, the more ridiculous it seems we would waste time doing such things.

And yet, it is the basis for the formation of new thoughts, ideas and collaberations that separates humans from any other species — for the thrill of discovery. Our ancestors were rewarded for exploring further, discovering new inventions to help them catch food, try new things, be curious about the world around us.

After discovering Ella Luna’s “Crossroads of Should and Must” last spring, and soon after stumbling upon her talk at the Do Lectures the previous year, I decided to set off on my own journey of curiosity the past year.

The year has been a big time of change for me — from college to working life; from my home town to a small village; from an environment of safety and security to one of the unknown and often times, facing fear of the unknown; from being an observer to being very much front line participant in day to day choices which have the implication in affecting a person’s life in more ways than I can possibly dare to imagine. Work as a junior doctor in a healthcare system is definitely challenging at times, to say the least.

How do I go about indulging in my curiousity?

I have a tendency to go explore.

Get lost.

Wind up talking to someone I wouldn’t ordinarily speak to.
Play in the sea.
Play with kids.
Create art.
Make music.
Make ordinary moments extraordinary.
Build sandcastles.
Drinking lots of gin (Ok maybe just that one weekend though — glass of wine is my go to of choice — but thank you my friends for drinking the bar dry on the Sunday of DO).
Have pizza pals.
Go for long hikes.
Running out of petrol about 30 miles away from the next petrol station.
Having endless ice cream visits.
Travelling is most definitely my number one vice — going somewhere you don’t know anything or anyone — in my opinion — there is no better way to drive your curiosity. (and kill your bank account)
Trusting strangers, just a lil bit.
Having an excellent cuppa tea.
Meeting new people
Hanging out with old pals
In fact, this year I even took the notion of going back to piano lessons — from the most amazing 93 year old lady I am lucky enough to know.

Where did this bring me?

On a whirlwind discovery of self. And from knowing one self — and being ok with one self — you can slowly begin to start to affect others. Hopefully. I’ve been lucky enough to be contacted by one or two whom I unknowingly affected, and just to have affected their lives in a positive way makes it all worth it.

So. Back to Do! How do you describe an event such as Do?

I don’t think my talent lies in words, I have a very bad habit of capturing moments through film and images via my trusty iphone companion. However, thanks to this weekend, I’m encouraged to keep trying new things, and be open to further opportunities.

Certain lessons or themes which kept re occurring over the weekend, not only from the talks, but from the many conversations shared with the various attendees. I’ll save those for another post.. if you wish. (insert comment at end!)

This year has been incredible,
and I’m very lucky and so grateful to have had the opportunity
to grow, make mistakes (there were plenty), learn and play.

It has taught me a lot, and now it’s time to grow communities from this. So drop a line if you want to get in touch with me, or contact me through twitter @aoifekirk or my social media of choice @aoifekk instagram — (have yet to set up an official site for whatever it is I end up “do-ing”.)

For now?

I’m very grateful for my job as a junior doctor, where every day I learn from so many fantastic humans I work alongside. Outside of that, I’m excited to keep learning more and more about our human race, along with other nuggets of knowledge along the way. Not only that, but I’m enthused to be involved in other projects along the way (@freefeetmedical @weareexcited ) which may pave the way for many more collaborations along the way.

Curiosity — at the end of the day, is what has driven human achievement.

So go ask questions. Explore. Get out of the comfort zone.

That will eventually lead to change.

And then?

Go Do.

(and don’t forget to share)