appreciation without understanding.

This past weekend I spent time doing two really interesting things.
Both activities are things I am not familiar with and have no depth of understanding, concerning.

On Friday night, I went to see my friend in a production in which she was the female lead {she was amazing}.
On Sunday afternoon, I traveled to LA to attend the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival, to see my friend, who is a amazing chef, at his very own booth {his dessert was the best one there!}.

Of course, I have been to countless plays, musicals, both on Broadway and off.  I have Playbills, ticket stubs and many programs, from pretty incredible venues, all over the world.  I can sing a wide array of show tunes and am able to carry on conversations concerning "theater".  Heck, I was even in a few productions in high school, if that will win me street cred.

And of course, I love fine dining.  Sure, I'm not a bonafide foodie, but I can talk their lingo and have eaten at some seriously prestigious restaurants. I can tell if food is good and I can tell if it's bad.  Many of my friends are food snobs {love you guys} and so I'm educated, somewhat and much appreciate a fine cut of meat to a bologne sandwich.  If it's fine dining, in SoCal, chances are Sean and I have tried it.  Or have it on our short list.

Even still, I couldn't help but realize that I was out of my element.  Not in an awkward way but in a way that made me keenly aware that I am not part of either of those worlds.

I have never fit in with theater people.  I've always wanted to and I have always admired them.  Their craft and their magic.  Their talent.
They're  just cool.
And I'm not theater people.

I have never fit in with foodies. Chefs. Pastry chefs. Restarunt owners.  People who work with food every day and have a true understanding of it.  I'm not one of those people.
I can cook a good dinner but I can't tell you why it's good.  Take out a ingrediant and you might as well run for the hills because I won't know how to fix it.
It's not in my bones.  It's not part of my make up.
And I'm not a foodie.

And then I had a moment when I was walking up and down the aisles at the festival.  I had just finished eating a duck sandwich and a shot glass full of gazpacho {YUM} and was thinking about the art of food. And then I thought about the art of theater and I realized that I love learning about both these things. I love learning about other peoples worlds and passions. I love seeing people in their element and hearing about what makes them excited.
I thoroughly enjoy learning about theater and food. Even though it isn't in my wheelhouse. Even though I don't get it. Even though I don't fit in. Even if  I don't love it the with the same intensity, or choose to involve myself with it, outside of supporting loved ones.

Personally,  I've always admired those in my life, who have done that for me.  I blog, write and connect with people and when I decided to throw a blogging conference {a crazy thing to do, to almost everyone except people who blog}.  Every one of my close friends showed up before, during and after that event.  Most of them don't blog at all.  But they were there. They gave up their time to care about my interests.  They supported me and learned about what I love, even if it isn't their "thing".  They've done it for everything that's been important to myself and our family.  And I do it for them.
They tried to understand, out of love.  I try to understand, out of love.

Isn't that the way it should be with us all?

On a larger scope, it made me think about it, this way...

I think, on the whole, most people stray from what they don't understand.
They stray because they are afraid {afraid of loving, relationships, children, outlets, feelings, passions, avocations etc}.
If they don't "get it", it doesn't exist and isn't important.
Fear turns into misunderstanding turns into a lack of care, concern or love.  Eventually it ostracizes.

And this goes beyond hobbies and interests.  This goes beyond career choice and bleeds into the human response and how we relate to one another at a deep, gut level.

I have never understood the fear of something "different".  Fear is power and and a power that is much larger then us so if we let it invade our souls, we become ineffective.

Sure I don't agree with some peoples life choices.  I don't like certain places, things or groupings. I don't care for lots of things that this world and its people, present. I don't condone specific lifestyles.  I don't understand so many things because I am wired a certain way and because I have a specific set of core beliefs.

But I'm not afraid.
I just try to understand.
Even if I don't get it.

Because nothing is won with fear.
But so many things can be won over with curiosity and the attempt to lovingly understand.


  1. Lucky you for going to the Food & Wine Festival! I bet that was super fun and delicious!!
    I think for some people it's not only fear of the unknown, it's the intimidation factor that someone may be more well versed on certain subjects/interests/ideas than they are. that can be just as scary and make a person really feel as if they don't fit.
    This year more than any other I am learning (again) what I am not and being okay with that.
    I know what and who I am and at the end of the day that's all I got. I love that you are able to come out of your comfort zone and support your friends in their pursuits and they do the same for you because that's the way it should be no? Even if we don't get it we make it a point to try to understand.....

    1. You're right and I should have included that point.
      I think, for many, it's too hard to be involved with something they are not only not don't understand but that they don't excel in. Thus their involvement in things that are important to others.
      Jealousy is rampant, sadly.

  2. Back again...

    LOVE this. So directly related to the post I was about to write. I will likely quote you, because it ties in so well. I'll definitely link you.

    And to answer your question in response to my first {only} comment here - my neighbor is not a well-known reader of yours, just a lurker who has followed you since your old blog, at least that is what she told me. But she knew I'd 'get' you.

    1. SO glad you are back! Share the link with us, when you are done. I would love to read!

  3. I have felt the same way, so many times. In college, I hung out with the theatre kids, and I learned so much -- despite being so different from them! We had a blast, and I hope in adulthood, I'm not content to stay in my comfort zone. We learn so much more when we try to truly get to know people, to understand them. I'm constantly reminding my introverted self of Atticus Finch's famous words: that we really don't know a person until we walk around in their shoes for a bit.

    1. That Atticus.
      He knew what he was talking about, didn't he?