Once upon a time, I had been told by an acquaintance that I reminded them of a shark…always moving and always eating. I can’t say that these are not true statements. When this was first imparted to me, I took it as an insult. Then, as I got older and more mature (cough cough), I realized that this person saw my spirit animal DNA shining through.
Sharks need to keep moving or they die. For most of my life, I’ve been the same way. I probably have some sort of hyperactivity because I can’t be still. I’m a fidgter. My toes tap, my hair gets twirled, I chew gum. I also tend to be in constant motion. I have about 30 projects going at once, always. Right now on my plate are several craft projects, two books I’m working on, a website design and marketing campaign, an internet based radio show, blogging plus being me and all that entails in real life. I’m not one to just sit around, and it’s got its drawbacks and perks.
I used to have boundless energy reserves but they were seriously depleted for a long time. I’m building them back up via some radical self care-eating healthfully, working out, getting enough rest, staying hydrated & doing stuff that jazzes me-and there’s such a huge difference in my life because of that.
I also have an innate curiosity about the world and I have to keep feeding that monster. When I read most books, I’ve got my journal next to me, and I wind up jotting down new words, ideas, imagery, things I might want to go back to later. I remember reading The Outsiders by SE Hinton in middle school and going down the rabbit hole of Robert Frost poetry. In fact, I became such a fan I went to college where he once taught.
Music can do the same thing for me as well. The only band that truly matters once name checked Marx & Engels in a song, so at age 12, I’m reading the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Another masterpiece mentioned the Crimean war so I read all about that. My grandmother was and I watched Montgomery Clift movies because of The Right Profile. To this day, From Here to Eternity is still one of my favorites.
After watching From Here to Eternity, I watched the Manchurian Candidate, which then led to watching Gaslight, and the entire Alfred Hitchcock catalog. But it was Casablanca that I fell in love with, and I became fascinated with learning about world war 2. I also read up on cinematography, because I was fascinated by how these movies were shot before all sorts of special effects were invented.
Interviews with some of my favorite celebrities also caused me to explore new authors and ideas. I’ve read the Beat writers, Bukowski, Selby, Plath, Miller based on a few rock star recommendations. In turn, I devoured all I could by these writers. I read their biographies and then the works of who inspired them. Into the rabbit hole I tumbled, not at all sorry. The Internet has made this much easier than my old analog research, and it rarely disappoints.
I’ve discovered so many great bands based on the recommendation of some of my favorites as well. If so and so likes them, they must be great! Actually, that’s how I discovered Miles Davis, John Coltrane and other jazz greats. This opened up another rabbit hole…and the rest is part of my aural history. While I still have my go to’s that I listen to all the time, I keep swimming and finding new bands that are added into heavy rotation on my phone.
I used to think being called a shark was an insult, but I’ve realized it’s the ultimate compliment. Just keep swimming, indeed.