Putting Shape to the Dreams

Hello, friend, and welcome!

I started blogging in earnest one year ago, just after Sam was born. I wrote a few decent bits and pieces, but mainly I spent a good deal of time staring at a cursor on my laptop screen. I didn't want to be confined to a typical blog structure or plan, but in the end, I found myself paralyzed by the lack of structure. Who was I writing to? What was I writing about? In the last few months, though, an idea started forming in my mind. The idea first occurred to me as a theme for a new blog, but as I thought about it, I realized that it was more of a theme for a life--a theme that was already there, but that I hadn't articulated.

Back in January, an old friend sent me a birthday note, and we got to texting about our plans for the year. He asked me about my goals, and out of the blue I found myself saying: "Taking adventures with Sam to museums and concerts and other non-baby things and starting a revolution among 'stay-at-home' moms to be people who spend their days with tiny humans but who still talk about big ideas and make art and engage community and culture in meaningful ways." I hit send, and I immediately thought, Uh, where did that come from? WHAT DID MY THUMBS JUST SAY? My next thought was, Oh, no. Now I'm committed. And then: What do I do next?

I didn't come up with a brilliant plan; there wasn't time. I had to start somewhere and test my theory that babies can do cool stuff. I hit the road. I stocked the car and the stroller, and from January through April we explored our surroundings with gusto and gallons of milk and gas. We went to museums, drove over the Golden Gate Bridge fourteen times (it never gets old), tackled Highway 1 in segments, learned the names and faces of obscure sea birds, read books like books were going out of style. But that was only half the battle. The rest of my goal was still nebulous. My days and my time with Sam felt directionless, because I wasn't quite sure what it all added up to, other than cool experiences. I was missing the overarching project or goal that would pull together these big ideas (the ones I just couldn't shake):

-The idea of creating meaningful content and beauty, rather than just consuming it.
-The idea of cultivating a daily life of curiosity and adventure and learning by all means possible, and drawing Sam into it, and so cultivating his curiosity and adventure and love of learning. 

-The idea of casting a vision for this kind of life, in a way that encourages my own journey, gives me a little accountability, and maybe even inspires others.

The Curiosity Project draws together all those things. It embodies things that I've always believed about life and babies and beauty and parenthood and this interesting planet we live on. It helps me to understand why I've been frustrated with many aspects of the parenting culture around me, and to do something about it. It gives direction to my (often scattered, disjointed, caffeinated) daily life with a one year old, and it gives me a reason to talk about what I'm figuring out as I go. 

What about the old blog? I've imported some past content that fits with this new theme. In the future, though, here's what you can expect here on The Curiosity Project: mini travelogues of our explorations and studies, tips that I pick up along the way, ideas for finding and creating adventures, and honest reflections on the whole idea of cultivating curiosity. And I'll continue to post other stuff that I'm working on: interior design projects, mini DIYs, maybe a couple of recipes. Because that's all a part of my own quest for curiosity and creativity.

Anyway, in a nutshell, here's what this is about:
Babies can do cool stuff that the world doesn't tell you they can do.
You can do cool stuff with babies.
You need to keep creating, keep learning, so your baby can see a life of learning in action. It's crucial. 

And it's so much more fun than the alternative.

You might be a mom of a little person, or a grandparent, or a friend of one. You might not have little people around yet, and you wonder sometimes if life has to stop when they come along, and WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THEN? ("Will I be relegated to a playground for the next decade of my life?") You might just appreciate slightly off-beat ideas and a few pretty pictures or design ideas. 

Whoever you are...

Will you join me in taking on The Curiosity Project?

The Curiosity Project is about chasing the vision of a life characterized by vibrant creativity, big love for learning, and cultivating curiosity. 

It's my current project...or, to be more precise, it's my life, lived out one day at a time, and shared with you here. 

Your Curiosity Project (should you choose to accept it, and I hope you will!), will no doubt look different than mine. But I share mine in hopes that it will inspire yours.

-Elise