The Case for Curiosity by Kristin Fields

My name is Kristin Fields and I am the editor for AEA’s monthly newsletter. I’d like to spend my Saturday post talking to you about curiosity.

About a year ago, I slowly started to up my home cooking game. Before that, I would default to easy meals, takeout, or breakfast for dinner. And while there’s nothing wrong with those options—because I still enjoy the occasional 7 p.m. pancakes—I’ve since become so engrossed in my love of food that I make it a goal to try at least one new recipe a week.

In the last year, I’ve made homemade pasta Bolognese that simmered on the stove all afternoon, prosciutto arugula pizza that convinced me to never buy frozen pizza again and braised beef short ribs that made my college-aged brother never want to return to dorm food.

When my friends ask what started this hobby, my go-to answer is: “I like to eat.” That’s it, end of story. But I know it’s more than that. I was curious, found something that sparked my interest, and ran with it. In fact, I ran with it so far that I created a personal food blog.

I had never built a website, I wasn’t only recreating recipes, and I was not (and still am not) a professional food photographer. But none of that mattered. My curiosity allowed me to dive in head-first and get over those inhibitions, and I’m so glad that I did.

Lesson Learned: I’m proud of how far I’ve come with this blog in the last year. I’ve since learned more about food photography and lighting, how to create and manage a website, and made some really good dishes along the way. It’s given me a creative outlet and built my confidence as a writer, which in turn has paid off in my professional life, too. On top of that, the blog has given me something to put my energy into and “unplug” from my work day. We are more than our day jobs—having a hobby that feeds your curiosity can make you a better employer, friend, parent, mentor, etc.

Cool Trick: This week, take a moment to follow your curiosity. You may find it will take you down a path you didn’t know you needed to explore.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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