The Pull of Curiosity

I remember a story my Mom told me about when I was very young. I questioned everything, and always wanted to know why. Why, why, why? How does the world work? I’m sure I was asking “Why?” before, during and after this photo.

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The first time I asked my Mom a question and she didn’t know the answer, she told me so. “I don’t know, Lara.”

Apparently at that point my world stopped. “What?”

“We’re going to have to call the reference desk at the library. I don’t have the answer to your question.” *

She said I stood there for a minute, then I burst into tears. “WHY ARE YOU LYING TO ME?!”

—-

I’ve become more and more aware over the years how much I’m driven by curiosity. In fact, curiosity can drive this normally-patient woman into an “are we there yet” bundle of nerves. I don’t know what’s behind the drive–it persists beyond my efforts to become zen with the unknown, and works without sabotaging that goal.

I’ve talked about it a little, here and there, but I realized this morning that I dampen my curiosity in this blog. It made me wonder why–what’s different here? Normally I fly my curiosity flag at full, unashamed mast. Sometimes I think it drives both friends and bosses crazy.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this morning. I think I edit the curiosity bits out of my posts because it sounds odd, strange, even in some kind of weird denial to be curious about what’s ahead for me. It’s OK to be calm, optimistic, worried… but curious?

I want to be myself here, and being myself means being curious. It means I talk about things like wondering about the process of having my head shaved.

What shape is my head? Does it have any weird bumps on it? I was born with a full head of hair that never fell out. I’ve never seen my head without hair, even in baby photos.

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About as close as I’ve ever gotten to bald


Does my scalp have an upside down 666 on it? I mean, no one has ever seen my head without hair.

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Will I lose my eyebrows and eyelashes too? I admit that question is curiosity tinged with worry.

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If I get a wig, will that feel too “fussy?” Or will hats feel weird because I never wear hats normally?

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After chemo, your hair grows back… different for a period of time. It may be curlier or a different shade. What will mine look like?

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When my own normal hair starts growing in again, how grey will it be? I was only about six months into the decision to stop dying my roots, so I didn’t have a chance to really see what my un-dyed hair looks like. I know the grey is mostly in front though, so…

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That probably sounds more like what you’d expect from me, if you know me in person. I’m the Queen of Questions. I’m sure I’ll have a hundred more today. From now on, I won’t hesitate to ask those questions here… and share the answers as I get them.

*That’s how you answered questions before the Internet, kiddo. You called the library reference desk and asked them, even if the question was, “If a vampire drinks the blood of a drunk person, does the vampire get drunk?” which yes, my mother did indeed call the reference desk about one evening.

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