Spontaneity is a funny concept, isn’t it? By the very nature of it, it’s not something you can plan. You can’t particularly look forward to it either, or even aspire to it. Plus, some of us are simply “better” at it than others. By that I mean that some personality types simply lend themselves to being more adventurous and flexible, while others prefer to organise and arrange everything in advance, and probably can’t think of anything worse than being spontaneous.
Personally, I’m somewhere in the middle. Admittedly, I very much like to play by the rules (always have, always will), so sometimes the thought of being impulsive can put me off my game. That being said, as I’ve come through my 20s, taken on adventure after adventure and even moved country, I’ve had no choice but to grow, adapt and become more flexible (in a figurative way of course, I’ve tried yoga and can confirm I am definitely NOT flexible in a physical way). At the ripe old age of 29, I’m probably less of an organiser than I’ve ever been and now actually enjoy “going with the flow”. I believe that’s what the cool kids call it.
What’s funny is that when you look up the definition of spontaneity, two of the synonyms it gives you are naturalness and artlessness, two very contradictory terms. One, naturalness, positively suggests that it’s the purest and most natural way a human can act, while the other, artlessness, negatively suggests it’s a careless and reckless way to act. But which is it?
If I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that even those organised, structured, planning types amongst us can be spontaneous too. It’s just that their spontaneous looks different to that of a free-thinking, thrill-seeking go-getter. For example, if every single day of his life, Bob plans his meals down to a tee, what he’ll eat, where he’ll eat, when he’ll eat…then one day he decides to leave his packed lunch in the fridge and tag along with work colleagues to try something new instead, then Bob could have skydived off the Empire State Building if you ask me! Changing your lunch plans at the last minute might not seem like a big deal to some people, but to others that’s a massive step. It’s all relative!
This weekend my very own level of spontaneity was “tested” so to speak. A fairly new friend of mine suggested a trip to the beach for the day since neither of us had plans. We booked our train tickets last minute and off we went with a few things flung into a backpack (and a face mask of course!) to spend the day. It was a flying visit and the plan was….there was no plan. Other than to do whatever took our fancy. Spontaneity at its best!
I thought to myself “This type of thing right here is exactly why I moved to Spain. To see new places, hang out with different people, try unfamiliar things”. That was until there was mention of hopping on a motorbike though….! That’s when the breezy, carefree, spontaneous me went out the window and the wary, prudent, overly sensible me stepped in. I’m terrified of Spanish driving and traffic as it is without hopping on the back of a motorbike haha! But thanks to the “there was no plan” plan, me not being very enthusiastic about the prospect of a motorbike didn’t ruin the spontaneous feel of the day, it meant we simply decided to walk instead.
I personally try to keep an open mind as much as possible and do whatever I want, whenever I want…within certain limits of course. Turns out that limit includes motorbikes! But that example aside, I think a bit of spontaneity is great in life. Why not try something different every now and again? When was the last time you did something out of the blue? You never know what you might find out about yourself.
P.S. Ironically, I actually ended up having a spontaneous Sunday night nap which is why I’m posting this on Monday night instead…oops!