Last night I went out with someone for coffee…not a date…just someone who is in the friendzone…but someone who was curious about my thinking and my habits. We began by discussing the recent soccer match when Mexico beat Germany. He asked me if I was a soccer fan. I had to be honest…I was not really into any sports. I admitted that because I’m so NOT competitive in life…I no longer see a reason to watch a sports game where everyone goes so insane over every play. He laughed and asked me if I was following the Montessori philosophy. Huh?!?! What’s that?!?!
Well, if I Google the Montessori philosophy…this is what I find:
“The Montessori Method is an approach to learning which emphasizes active learning, independence, cooperation, and learning in harmony with each child’s unique pace of development. The Montessori Method is an approach to education which emphasizes individuality and independence in learning.“
Based on our ensuing conversation, I realized that maybe that is my thing. I never measured myself against other people around me. I watched as others tried so hard to be “better” than their neighbors…or to catch up to where they thought they should be in life. But I always kind of marched to the sound of my own drummer, independently. I always did what made me happy…or content each day. I never tried to be better than anyone else. I never tried to learn more than my peers, though some would say I was a bit of an overachiever…always looking to learn something new…always looking to add to my growing list of skills but I was never pressured for time or by a specific learning method.
And it was not that I didn’t care how other people were doing in life…it actually always made me curious how insane people used to get while “planning” their lives instead of just taking it as it came. That could be because once I considered my life to have been boring…I then had the toughest 6 months of my life. I can tell you, I never thought that again. Though that doesn’t necessarily make me a bad planner…nor does it make me a non-planner. It just made me appreciate everyday as though it could have been my last, so I just learned to appreciate each day…and tried to fill each day with as much as I could. Some used to accuse me of always burning the candle at both ends. (I want to say this may have been an expression we used in NYC…when referring to someone who got up early every morning to go to work to then meet friends/boyfriends for drinks/dinner until the late hours…only to do it all again the next day.) That person was just trying to warn me against burning out.
Well I haven’t slowed down…though I sometimes think I burned out a few of my friends along the way. And to be honest with you, I don’t really know where my energy comes from. It’s more about truly believing that I can sleep when I’m dead. But back to competition…I’m not trying to fill my day with more things than the next guy…I’m not trying to accomplish more than my colleagues/friends/neighbors. I am just living my life to the fullest…without caring what other people are doing. Granted I do take other people’s schedules into consideration…which is why I guess I have so many close friends who I just include in my daily antics.
Recently, I decided to put myself out there to make new friends where I am. I don’t consider myself to be strange or uncommon where I am…though I believe I do get some strange looks from some people at times…it’s my habit of walking into new places as though I’ve been there a million times before and, of course, I know my way around as well as where I’m going. I’m not trying to seem arrogant or to be an ass…I just don’t need anyone’s help with anything…like being able to find my own way to an empty table in a restaurant. Some of my friends find that funny…some are just like me. Who cares.
Regardless, I decided to fill my life with more activities…like going to the movies more during the week…like meeting people for coffee/wine/drinks/dinner during the week. What am I 12? I don’t care if it’s a “school” night…I have always been able to get up every morning, get dressed, board a subway and make my way to my office on time. Here, I just have to roll out of bed and land in my office across the hall. It’s really not a difficult task at all. And my being able to do that, regardless of how much I had to drink last night, is not me trying to be “better” than anyone else. It’s just one of my God given gifts…not exactly something I should be proud of…but something that does allow me to burn the candle at both ends. Hahaha!
Now I’m in the middle of taking a course online teaching me how to write HTML and CSS Code which is used to create webpages on the back end. Holy shit! It’s kicking my ass! Just like the secret codes we used to create in junior high school to make it easier to pass notes in class, I again am being forced to memorize code that has no rhyme or reason. And it is making my head spin! Especially because if you do this code right, then the result is a beautiful web page…but if you do it wrong, it looks like a broken jigsaw puzzle! Not the objective of this class.
But regardless, with the right time, I am eventually able to figure it out. That does not make me better than anyone else. It just means that I am being persistent in my efforts until I obtain the desired certificate I should be receiving at the end of my course. I’m not competing with any of my co-workers…instead, just because I have recently found a bit of open space in my time, I chose to fill it learning a new skill which should only help me succeed in my current job. But I can tell you that how I’m learning it may not be the most efficient or “smartest” way to learn it…but it’s my way to learn…and since that method has always worked for me, I don’t think it’s so bad.
When asked what philosophy do I follow…I guess I’ll have to be honest and say that somehow I seem to have begun to follow this Montessori Method…without even realizing what it was. As I read more about it, the more sense it seems to make to me. I don’t care about winning in tennis…I just enjoy playing the game. I am not trying to look or behave better than anyone else…it’s just how I am. So if I beat you at some sort of competition, trust me when I tell you that I never even realized that we were competing! No hard feelings!