My sentiments gravitate towards “strong disapproval” when thinking about whomever first coined the phrase “curiosity killed the cat”.
Seeing as how 1/3 of my name consists of “cat”, I tend to take this phrase personally.
I am and have always been, an ardent advocate of curiosity. It’s human nature. Without curiosity, life would be ceremoniously blasé. It makes a scant amount of sense, none really, to equate curiosity with an impending-ly evident and explosive doom.
But alas, some schmuck decided to do it and now everyone is doing it. Or at least saying it.
In my personal experience it has never been curiosity, so much as expectation that has chaperoned me towards disappointment and then dropped me off at château d’eau failure.
As a lady of only 22-years, I suppose others may have more extensive histories of disappointment and, would in fact blame curiosity for said disappointments. But, I’d hope that the masses would join “team expectation” for scapegoating our accumulation of failures.
I have learned (the hard way) that when you over-romanticize someone, something, anything, and all things — you end up with sheer disappointment.
Not at all because the world is generally disappointing. Au contraire, actually. But, because what we have built up in our creative human heads is so perfectly perfect that nothing else can honestly or fairly compete.
One of my favorite Murakami quotes goes a little something like this.
“Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness.”
Granted, Murakami was describing the first time he ran 26.2 miles in the smoldering heat of an Athens summer and was actually beginning to hallucinate. But, that said. the sentiment is the same.
Most humans are really good at building beautiful worlds within our own subconsciouses. Who doesn’t love a painfully vivid dream? We’ve all been guilty of forcing our eyelids shut just to hang on to that dream for a second longer.
Naturally, disappointment sprouts when we expect someone or something to be a certain way, when in reality, they or it is just different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.
Expectations are what we should be cautious of. Not curiosity.
What has worked for me -
and as I said before, this juvenile revelation came cloaked in the form of a melodrama of uncomfortable lessons.
what has really worked for me is to be open about everything and be honest with myself about what actually is. Don’t go overboard with the dramatization of lofty imaginaries and just be happy with what exists. Life is unyieldingly exceptional when you see things for what they are.
That doesn’t mean you can’t change something to suit you more comfortably, but don’t expect something to become what it inherently is not. We toe a fine line here, friends.
This post is slowly waltzing down the path of “rantiness” (yes, I made this word up just now)… and I don’t mean to sound that way.
So, I suppose I will end with this last plea, plead… we can even call it a humble request.
Stay curious. Always, always, always stay curious. Humans are too smart and too resilient to be afraid of something like curiosity. So it’s ok to question things and it’s even better to start doing things.
But for crying out loud, take the pressure off of your tired bones and stop expecting too much. We are all pretty great but none of us are entitled enough to live in the parameters of a “perfect” world.
If you are anything like me, it won’t take long before you find out how many brilliant things will happen once you ease up on the pressure and forget about the unattainables.
Curiosity didn’t kill the cat.
Well, not this cat at least.