Monday, April 26, 2010

V for Variety

“You are looking different today, someone told me. Is that a new outfit you are wearing?”
“Not exactly”, I assured her. “I normally wear this shirt with formal trousers. Today I am wearing it with faded jeans.” I also had on a pair of hoop earrings that I normally do not wear, and strappy sandals rather than formal shoes.
Quite apart from the fact that my outfit was more summer friendly than my normal work-wear, I wore what I wore because I wanted a change.
And don’t we all?
We don’t eat the same thing every day- we may do so out of necessity or convenience, but sooner rather than later, we crave a change.
We may wear the same thing every day, because it is convenient. But once in awhile, we want to break out of the mould and wear something quite different.

When we crave variety in food, and clothing, why do most of us go out of our way to surround ourselves with people just like us?
At the gym the other day, I encountered someone I haven’t met before. “I’ve never seen you before”, she said. “Are you new?”
“Not really”, I told her. “I normally come much earlier than I have today.”
“Earlier than this!”, she exclaimed. “What is the point? Once you have sent the kids and the husband off, you can really relax.”
“True, but I leave for work with my husband, so if I don’t’ come earlier, I can’t come at all.”
“You go out to work?”, she asked incredulously. I nodded, and she had nothing further to say to me.
In fact, when I tried to say goodbye to her before leaving, I found her going out of her way to avoid eye contact.

Whether she was opposed in principle to the idea of women going to work, or whether she did not think she would have anything in common with a woman who worked, it was clear that she didn’t want anything further to do with me after she found out I worked. Quite obviously, she was in her comfort zone with women who did not work, and didn’t want to waste time getting to know someone with whom she felt she would not have anything in common.

While I do like being with people like me, some of my closest friends are people with whom I have not very much in common. The last person who made me laugh did so, because what he said was something absolutely unexpected. The last person who made me think was someone who’s blog I may never have visited based entirely on their blogger profile. The last person who saved my life was someone who I would never have thought could even relate to my then current life situation.
My life would have been infinitely less interesting had I not actively sought out people not exactly like me. And that is one of the things I like most about the virtual world – you meet people you never would have otherwise, and once you get to know them, you realise you actually like them a lot.

Variety is what make the world an interesting one for everyone. You may all have your favourite genre, but sometimes, don’t you pick up a book that is totally different and fall proceed to fall in love with it?
What would we do without Variety?

25 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Hello Stranger,
Yes variety does make the world go around, it wouldn't do if we all liked the same book, singer, TV programmes to name but a few,
It's good to have variety in life to be able to choose what one does or not.
Well the challenge is nearly over and I for one will miss it, how about you?

Have a lovely day.
Yvonne.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some feel threatened by a person who is different - their loss!
And cool - someone else you selected variety for V.

dipali said...

The very spice of Life!

Mason Canyon said...

Maybe we are in our comfort zone too much. We do need to seek variety. I know through blogging I have meet a variety of people I wouldn't have otherwise. Guess now I need to expand that into my life outside blogging. Inspiring post. (P.S. It was the lady's loss that she didn't get to know you.)

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Jaydee Morgan said...

Variety is a great thing - even in books and writing. We can be ourselves, write what we love and know that there will be people out there who will enjoy it - even if we don't follow what's trendy :)

Joanne said...

Variety is what makes life so very interesting! It is the differences among us that inspire thought and dialogue, that educate and enrich. And I agree, the blogs are a wonderful avenue of variety.

Lisa said...

Great choice of words for your V post. I agree that variety is what keeps things interesting. I too have met some people during this challenge that I would never have considered connecting with based on their profile. And I've been pleasantly surprised! I really like your take on how certain people who you might have nothing in common with have made such an impact on your life. Great post Rayna!

arlee bird said...

I like variety even though there has been a great deal of sameness to my life of late. This has been a wonderful thing about the A to Z Challenge-- there is so much variety among the participants. Blogging is great because one can travel the world and learn about people with all sorts of interests and not even have to leave home. What fun it would be to be able to get us all together in one place to see what we are like in person.
Wonderful post, Rayna.

Lee
A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If we were all the same, it would be pretty dull...

slommler said...

I was thinking the same thing..how boring it would be if we were all the same. The differences make life so rich and interesting.
I love the variety I have met online. Would we have met in real life? Probably not and that is a shame.
That lady at the gym really suffered a great loss not getting to know you. So sad!
Hugs
SueAnn

eve's lungs said...

Absolutely true . But why was the woman at the gym so strange I wonder ?

Raquel Byrnes said...

How very true! I often find that great friends or adventures come from unexpected places. As for the woman at the gym...it is her loss that she did not get to know you.

Wanda said...

Great post Rayna. There is a level of comfort in being around those who are similiar to ourselves; however, the room for growth is limited.

Not Hannah said...

I absolutely agree! I just spent some special time with one of my best woman friends, crying and laughing and talking til the wee smalls. She and I are polar opposites in almost everything--but we adore each other and I couldn't imagine not having her in my life.

Marjorie said...

I usualy choose friends who are different from me. I find it easier to be friends with them I think. I'm not sure why. I think maybe it's that I don't see in a person what makes us different, but what the friendship can be for us.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What a great post! Living overseas provided a wonderful opportunity to make friends with people who were not like me at all. I keep in touch with many of these people today and sometimes we manage to get together. My life back in the States is so much richer now. Variety is truly the spice of life.

Tabitha Bird said...

Ah yes. Variety is the spice of life like they say. :)
Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - what a boring life it would be if I only spoke with people like me! I can't even imagine it. Part of the fun of being human is finding out more about other humans. I'd much rather be in the midst of a wide variety of folks!

ladyfi said...

Our entire world is based on variety! It's what enriches and inspires us...

As someone once said, "Where everyone thinks alike, no one thinks much at all."

Ellie said...

I so agree; variety is the spice of life! Variety keeps us aware of how unique and similar we all are! I have so enjoyed A-Z blogging, finding common threads, with people I may not have sought out!

GREAT message in today's post!!!

GutsyWriter said...

That's why I love to travel and meet people with different opinions. If you want conformity, come to Orange County, California. I don't fit in, and am always finding most people think the same way here. But I'm also a mixture of different nationalities. Very interesting to read your views about the woman at the gym. Perhaps she's jealous of you.

R. M. Iyer said...

@ Yvonne - the online world has put me in touch with so many people who are so different from what I am, but who have made my life infinitely richer. What I like most about this challenge too has been meeting so many wonderful people, many (like you), who I intend to continue following.
@ Alex - and isn't it awesome that we picked the same word, and did something so different with it. And yes, some people probably feel threatened by another, though in this case, I am pretty sure it was not that.

@ dipali - it is, isn't it?

@ Mason - the online world is easier. You can take the parts of a person that you like, and ignore the parts you would not be able to ignore in real life. But I don't see you walking away from someone after you made the first move.
And that is really nice of you to say that.

@ Jaydee - absolutely. I love the things that are happening in the publishing industry, because now everyone has a chance to get their books into the hands of whoever wants them without intermediaries in the picture.

@ Joanne - absolutely. It it precisely the fact that there are so many very different people out there saying very different things that makes blogging for one such an enriching experience

@ Lisa - thank you. That has been the best thing about this challenge for me - meeting so many people so different from me. I know that even now, there are people I haven't visited yet, but there is only so much one can have on their plates at any point of time. And at some stage I had to pick the people I want to continue keeping in touch with.

@ Lee - life tends to have a bit of sameness after awhile. Which probably is what makes the blogging world so wonderful. And you managed to get a fantastic assortment of people together. It has been so wonderful.


@ Diane - it would, wouldn't it. And then, what would we write about, or talk about, when we know that everyone already knows everything we have to say.

@ SueAnn- we may never have connected in real life, because then there would be too many other things coming in the way of cutting to the core of a person and discovering the commanalities.

@ Eve's lungs - very weird, I agree. Perhaps she was a working woman who "sacrificed" her life for the kids, and doesn't want to associate with anyone who chose not to.

@ Raquel - we may or may not have found something in common. But it is sad she gave up without a try.

@ Wanda - true. And I guess there are people who crave comfort.

@ Heather - I have a few of them too. People who are not like me at all, and people I do not necessarily agree with even most of the time. But people without whom life would be so much less meaningful.

@ Marjorie - maybe because with people different from you, there is so much more to learn and talk about? In many ways we are very different, but I still count you a friend.

@ Jane - and there are people who go overseas and yet never leave their own country. It is you who has made your life more meaningful, not your circumstances.

@ Tabitha - quite. Though I didn't visit - technically, I delurked!

@Jemi - I wish others realised that too.

@ Fiona - absolutely. How else could I get to see photographs of snow when I want to immerse myself into a bath of ice-cubes?
And I just loved that quote.

@ Ellie -there is so much more binding us than seperating us, though it is the differences that are more apparent.

@ Sonia - I dont' know about her being jealous, but I was definitely a little sorry for her. The place I stay in seems a little like Orange County. Most people seem to confirm to the same standard.

Carol Kilgore said...

I totally agree about variety. It would be a sad world if everyone were alike.

Patricia Stoltey said...

One thing I love about blogging is the opportunity to seek out people from different parts of the world, from different occupations, and from different age groups. It's easier online than it is in my own community.

I'm the same way about books -- I'll read anything (at least once).

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Carol - it would be a very boring world if we didn't have anything to disagree about or anything to learn, wouldn't it?

@ Patricia - that is exactly why I am so in love with blogging. Online, you don't know enough to judge, you can ignore people you don't like, and stay clear of aspects of people you don't quite like - which means you get the best of everyone! What more could anyone ask for?

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