What If…We Lean In

We recently spent some time during Spring🌸 Break in Alabama. I need to admit something. I didn’t know what to expect from Alabama. 🤔I had these notions that it was a backward place. I hoped there would be yummy restaurants but didn’t expect much more than that. I knew the 🏖beaches were stunning because I had seen photos. I figured I’d spend my time there, and that would be enough of Alabama. 🙅🏻‍♀️

I’m here to tell you that I was wrong. Alabama is a 😍beautiful state with much more to offer than I gave it credit for. As we drove through the state to the 🏖beach, there were quaint little towns and larger cities with interesting skylines. We saw adorable 🍎produce stands along the route. Every person that we encountered was 😀friendly and polite. Folks referred to me as ma’am and Ken as sir. They have Buc-ee’s- and that seems like reason enough to drive back! 🙌🏻Have you ever been to a Buc-ee’s? To say that it is a gas station with a convenience store doesn’t even come close to describing it accurately. There were lots of fantastic places to 🛍shop, from chain stores to charming mom-and-pop shops. There were gorgeous areas to walk or run. And the 🍽restaurants? Delicious- with a wide variety of menus. Yes- the 🏖beach was the main reason we went to Alabama. The rest of the state and the delightful people are the reasons we’ll go back.💜

I didn’t know what I was missing. I judged Alabama before I even set foot on the shores. 😏I’m not even sure where I got my negative thoughts. I had never been there, so I really didn’t know what it was like. Maybe movies or TV? Maybe I invented some misguided version of the state in my own mind. As it turned out, I loved💖 it there. Who knew? I’m so glad that we took a chance and booked an Airbnb in Alabama. Now, I know.

It seems to me that we all make assumptions like I did with Alabama. 🙋🏻‍♀️We generalize. We make up our own narratives of what we think something or someone might be like. We don’t know what we don’t know. Let’s take that a step further- we don’t even WANT to know what we don’t know. ❌We’re comfortable resting in what we THINK we know. Following me here?

It seems like we often close our 👀eyes and ears to new things, different ideas, and change. If we haven’t experienced it, well, it doesn’t make sense to us, and it must be wrong or bad. 🙃Am I right? We can’t begin to truly understand something that we haven’t lived. All too often, we 🚫stop there. We don’t even try.

We can learn, though. We should want to learn. We need to learn because that’s how we grow. 💯Updating our perceptions is paramount to moving forward in life. We’re not made to stay the same forever. Our brains are naturally curious. Don’t fight it. Don’t be afraid of things you don’t understand. 👟Run towards those things. Investigate what you don’t know. Ask the difficult ❓questions and listen to the responses to 💞understand- not just to hear them.

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” ~Brian Herbert

What if… we lean into things that we don’t understand? Seek out new and different experiences. 🎉Bring some new thoughts and fresh adventures into our 🌎worlds. There was a commercial for Life cereal back in the 1970s with the catchphrase “Try it, you’ll like it.” You’ll never know if you don’t try. 💖

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