A sponge, such a remarkable thing really…think about it. While some people may perceive the sponge as “just another useless or dumb thing”, the beautiful thing about the sponge is that it can effortlessly soak liquids up just by being still, or help saturate and clean other items just by “sharing” the liquids it has embedded within itself.
“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.” ― Michel Legrand
During my mid to late 20’s I began to learn more about life, things that I simply didn’t know, that I did not know about womanhood, motherhood…about life in general and I remember having feelings of confusion and resentment. I began to wonder why my mother didn’t teach me everything I was learning the hard way, or from complete strangers and why I was learning how to be a woman, a mother and how to just “do life” alone. Then again, maybe she had tried but I was too young and naive to take heed to her lessons. Soon after the questions and feelings of confusion came, resentment followed. I began to become internally upset with my mother for even the petty things she never taught me like how to shave my legs, or dating 101, because someone had to take the blame for me being oblivious of “how to” do what seemed like all of “real life”. I guess it’s safe to say that this was about the time where I realized that I had to become a “Human Sponge” and soak up the world around me before it swallowed me whole…
Growing up I was a very stubborn individual; especially as a teen and young adult, but with growth, stubbornness had evolved into determination and I was determined not to fail at ANYTHING(imagine that, but that’s a different lesson for another time). That determination brought about other characteristics that would bode well for me in my future relationships, career, education and life in general. Some key characteristics that were birthed are tenacity, compassion, understanding, patience, humility and strength. I used the term birthed because arguably, these characteristics are those in which I was not born with, I had to learn these traits mostly unintentionally through learning life by being an intentional “human sponge”.
As an evolving woman and human sponge I had to be welcoming of the wealth of knowledge that the world around me had to offer. I also had to be intentional in seeking specific knowledge and education. Being a human sponge required me to be open minded. My views on things could no longer be one sided and I also had to learn from my own mistakes as well as those of others. Gone are the days where I can say I’ve “always done it this way”, or I will “never” try this or that(within godly reason of course). I had to make the conscious decision to be open to,and embrace new and different things, I also I had to be intentional in educating myself on things I simply did not know.
Embarrassingly enough, one thing that I learned along the way was how to pronounce AND cook with thyme(time), the joy in this lesson was an entire experience in itself. It was an experience via email that I will never forget. Of course my friend; who happens to be a master chef, thought it was absolutely hilarious that I did not own, nor had I ever cooked with thyme. Heck, I couldn’t even recognize the taste or the smell so I had no clue if I had even tasted it in something I hadn’t cooked before. One desire to learn a new recipe for baked chicken, lead me to desire, explore and discover other spices that I either possessed but never used or, never even acknowledged on the spice rack like turmeric, rosemary and cumin (all favorites of mine now, by the way). Aside from learning how to be a better cook (by trial and error), how to date (not how to go on a date, but how to really date) and how to pray (no more now I lay me down to sleep...), being a human sponge by soaking up the world around me has continued to teach me both valuable and invaluable lessons about life that I will always cherish and am forever grateful for (even the hard lessons).
“Be Open to the world and wealth of knowledge around you, you never know when you’re going to need it.” -One2Mpower
In becoming a human sponge and learning all that you can about everything that you can; including yourself, one must be open to trying new things. My idea of trying new things consists of but is not limited to, getting to know different types of people, watching different television shows(or none at all), reading different books, traveling to different destinations, enjoying quiet personal time or even attending different events. The possibilities of what you can learn, who you can learn from or the many ways in which one can learn are endless. It’s almost as if you are exploring life and collecting souvenirs of knowledge along the way. Whether it’s something as simple as, learning or improving upon your table etiquette by paying attention to others during lunch/dinner, or consistently attending networking events until you have perfected your “social-business” acumen, be observant, intentional and take notes. While these are examples that may not apply, I will not inundate you with every person that has added to my sponge; from my very first landlord, to my husband, I will encourage you to be a sponge, take in the world around you, use the knowledge that you can use now and bank the rest for later. Just as importantly, pay it forward. If you have knowledge, information, or inspiration that even just one person can benefit from, help saturate another sponge by squeezing something from your sponge.
As I began to fully understand and respect the person that I had become, I realized that not learning those things that I’d deemed important, from my mother are what molded me into the woman that I was during that time, and that I have evolved into today.
Until next time… -One2Mpower