An Addiction to Novelty

This ain’t no intro, this the entree.

Tabula Rasa. Blank slate. If you know me, I jump at every opportunity to start anew. And it’s not necessarily because I’m dissatisfied with the current state of things, or even because of a need to rebrand myself.

Maybe it’s because I’m terrified of complacency; if I’m not moving, it feels like I’m not growing. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, there’s a constant voice in the back of my head nagging: Is there something more fulfilling you could be doing? Are you making the most of this situation? FOMO to the extreme.

But I think it’s more than that — I live for the adrenaline rush, that surge of dopamine you get from pushing your boundaries. Those moments when the I’m-not-good-enough’s, the what-if-I’m-wrong’s, the what-will-people-think’s — when all that fades, subdued by the euphoria of putting yourself out there.

Looking back on my summer so far, I’ve captured that feeling more than I thought I would: cliff diving over a 40 ft ledge, asking out a complete stranger, auditioning for dance teams alongside peers who had years of experience on me. And I don’t regret a single one of these choices.

I’ve celebrated birthdays with friends I just met. I’m on a dance team that pushes me more than any previous team I’ve been on. I’m finding more joy in simple pleasures like reading books, cleaning my room, eating by myself.

And here I am, blogging again, and on a new medium too! (ha)
It almost feels as if I’m reviving the newness of my freshman year at Cal.

But while I go to bed grateful every night for these new experiences and deepening relationships, I can’t help but wonder: Am I risking losing touch with my core friend group, my family, for the sake of spicing up my life?

Does “in with the new,” really mean “out with the old?”

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