I dress up to go to the library. More accurately - I dress intentionally. I choose clothes that I am comfortable in, that I really like (and not because it looks like what I think I should look like), and often it is a combination of things that I've never put together before. As I was doing this today, I recognized that it is unusual and I asked myself why the library outing deserved a thoughtful outfit. Here is what I came up with:
I feel like myself when I am at the library. It's not because I am an avid reader, although I would like to become more avid. It's not because there are lots of other people there, although I really love the people-watching. It's not even because of the smell, although the smell of books needs to be captured in a candle that I could purchase a lifetime's supply of.
It's because of the possibility. Wandering through a library is like a reboot of the parts of me that say I can be something more. It's a place where I can dig more deeply into the unchanging parts of me. I can discover new places to dream of and causes worthy of fighting for. Words are on those shelves that can inspire change in the world around us. There are photographs to gaze upon, melodies to hear for the first time, and stories crafted to evoke emotion.
All of these things are accessible there. It's a space that is set aside for the nourishment of my mind. And I think I choose my outfit intentionally because I want it to match the way I feel when I am there. But is a library the only place where I should be living this way - with my mind set on the possibility, on creativity, on art, on learning? It can't be.
I didn't intend for this to be a post for a new year, but it has become one all on it's own. In 2017 - and all the years that follow - I will dress myself intentionally for these things. I will dream and read and listen and write. I will create environments that facilitate risk and failure and reflection. I will surround myself with people who encourage the same. We will make something new and it will be a process. Because isn't that the point?