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A simple question


On Friday I attend the Contemporary Art Museum's opening for its latest exhibition and amongst a couple conversations I had, towards the end of my time there, I fell into one with Leon Williamson. He asked, “are you still doing your podcast?” I replied it was on hiatus. I had enjoyed the exercise and had some fun moments with it but the underlying goal, if there needs to be one, hadn’t availed itself to me yet. What was I trying to get out of this be it enjoyment, awareness, etc.?

He proceeded to tell me about one of the artists he is currently working with, Arshad Goods, and how he recently had him on another local podcast “MichMash”. Leon sees podcasting as another way to get the word out about the people he represents. He thought mine might be another avenue.

I was in shock. "My podcast?”, I thought? Impostor syndrome kicked in but so did an intriguing thought pattern. I postponed my podcast because it felt a bit forced despite the interesting and fun nature of the people I'd chatted with. What made me want to have a podcast? Leon’s inquiry tripped the adulting switch in me, which I’ve kicked around for a long time. I enjoy a broad array of experiences and breaking things down so I might be a more engaged and informed customer/patron. My curiosity is about having a better understanding for something and letting that shape me if it sticks.

Tim Ferriss has chartered himself as, "breaking down the habits and routines of world class performers so he might replicate it.” While this may apply at times for me, I feel the angle I’m shooting is less about being a top performer and more about understanding what is going on or how to approach it so I feel more capable of navigating or understanding the situation. And I enjoy it when I have the chance to tell others what I’ve recently learned or share an experience with them.

Might Leon's inquiry be what I have been looking for? I was already interviewing interesting people but I wasn't pursuing it fully from the angle of understanding what drives them and why. Internalizing their story and letting it shape who I am.

And perhaps there is something more timely woven in here as well. Our culture and country today often leans toward familiarity and certainty rather than exploration. “We seem somehow bored with thinking we want to instantly know. Knowing is the cessation of thinking”, said Maria Popova of Brain Pickings. We want our values to be reinforced rather than constructively challenged. Perhaps in a roundabout way, through this podcast, I might challenge and strengthen my values and paradigm. Part of my DNA is new experiences. Perhaps the podcast is just another way to document and help honor the interesting people I'm lucky to meet and know. Perhaps this is my way to become a more engaged and productive citizen.

I need to mull how to bring the podcast more but I am thankful to Leon for making me stop and think the other night.

One more quote for your journey today, "The other thing we do is we make everything that's uncertain certain. Religion has gone from a belief in faith and mystery to certainty. "I'm right, you're wrong. Shut up." That's it.Just certain. The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we are, the more afraid we are. This is what politics looks like today. There's no discourse anymore. There's no conversation. There's just blame. You know how blame is described in the research? A way to discharge pain and discomfort. We perfect.” Brené Brown


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