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Adulting and Elegance

In most moments prior to a week ago, if I had seen or heard the word elegant, I would have thought of something along the lines of: a chandelier, a ball gown, a waltz or a pieta sculpture by Michelangelo.

I recently returned from a vacation and while it was enjoyable, I spent a disproportionate amount of time pondering my muse of Adulting. I considered how twenty and thirty-somethings do or might better navigate the complexity of adulthood and what would make it more compelling and easy. When one looks up elegant in the dictionary (Merriam Webster), two definitions are found. The first reflects what I already referenced:

  • showing good taste : graceful and attractive

But the second definition, which I came across while at a motel in Asheville, NC invokes my curiosity:

  • simple and clever

When we take a seemingly (or actually) complex topic and bring simplicity to it, we are practicing elegance. When we find a shortcut that others marvel at, we appear clever. The daunting part is often putting in the work, understanding what you have learned and owning it as you move forward.

When you are intimidated by a decision and react quickly, we are practicing the opposite of elegance. But when we competently understand a subject matter or perform a skill, we embody elegance.

There is elegance in calmly studying cuts of meat at your butcher shop and knowing what you're looking for, examining a bar's new cocktail menu, the peace of mind after getting out of work late and being able to knock out a quick, healthy, affordable dinner. Perhaps the antidote to #Adulting as a reluctant or overwhelmed sensation is pursuit of elegance? Taking something complex or mundane and transforming it into something we capably handle.

What elegance do you seek to gain?

Go Forth Boldly

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