Yes, persistence. And, moving on.
After 52 weeks of dissecting dichotomies, it’s time for a new pursuit.
Have you ever found yourself at what you know is the end of the road for you in a particular pursuit? Maybe it was choosing to be done with band after junior high so you could invest more time in baseball in high school, no longer playing sports in college so you could focus on leadership opportunities, or even letting a childhood friendship slowly fade as you each move different directions in life. Regardless, each of us will often face a decision between continuing down a path which is no longer as fulfilling as when we began, or forging a new path which is more fulfilling.
That’s where I’m at right now. Writing these weekly pieces has taught me a new lesson every week as I looked for false or misunderstood dichotomies in the world. I’ve learned about writing, about storytelling, and a lot about discipline.
I rarely knew what I would write about more than a week or two in advance, but by simply opening my eyes to looking at the world in this way, I found more dichotomies than I had weeks in which to write. Some of those dichotomies are true dichotomies, representing the ends of a spectrum; embracing the complexity in those areas was more about extracting the elements of each that could work together. Others are false dichotomies and are not, in fact opposites; we can leverage those in new ways if we’re open to recognizing how they’re not mutually exclusive. Others are misunderstood, discounted, or scoffed at by the champions of each side; if we fail to take each other seriously, we lose our ability to effectively negotiate with our fellow man to create a better world for all of us.
I’ve loved this journey. I’ve become a better student of people, ideas, and the ways we misunderstand both of those things to our own detriment; on the other hand, I’ve become more attuned to the ways we can improve our relationships, our careers, and our lives by choosing to understand people and ideas, even when (or particularly when) it’s difficult. I’ve deeply valued you, thoughtful reader, for accepting the pursuit of saying “yes, and,” seeking to better understand and embrace the inevitable complexity of a world full of humans like us. Whether you’ve been here all 52 weeks, or just the last two, your attention is not something I take lightly. I’m grateful you’ve chosen to spend a few minutes of your time every week exploring these ideas with me.
Yet, as meaningful as this has been, I knew I would come to an end. Not because there aren’t more dichotomies worth dissecting, not because the lessons are not worth learning, nor because the words are not worth writing. No, there will always be dichotomies and lessons and words worth our time, and I challenge you to join me in continuing to engage in embracing complexity.
For the last 365 days, I’ve found weekly writing to be challenging, fulfilling, and the proper way to spend a small portion of my time each week. In this new season of life, my hope is to continue writing, but to lessen the frequency of posts and shift to a new lens through which to write and learn and grow. I’m still working out exactly what it looks like, but here’s what you can expect for future inbox notifications from Miriam Hoffman on Substack:
Continued exploration of themes related to personal growth, youth leadership, and agriculture
Practical applications for each idea, no matter where you’re at in life
Stories that make you think
Thanks for being here. Thanks for refusing to let the polarity of the world get to you. Thanks for choosing to engage with ideas which don’t line up with an oversimplification of reality. Thanks for choosing to embrace complexity. The world is better because you’re in it.
What’s the most useful lesson you’ve learned from following along with #EmbracingComplexity? Drop your thoughts in the comments below or tag @miriamrosah on Twitter or Instagram. I’d love to learn from you.