I believe lots of things. Some of my beliefs are fluffy and fun while others are deep, determined and devout. Then there are some that are sanctioned upon a lifetime of semiotic tradition, cultural reform, the need to rebel and a twist of the good ‘ole Golden Rule. But then I have some beliefs that fit into all eight (or is it nine?) of the aforementioned categories. An example? I believe in spontaneity. It’s an essential part of my existence. I dare say that being spontaneous borders upon an essential need as it is “known” and not “believed” that the absence of spontaneity crushes my soul! Truly, it does.
So what does it mean to be spontaneous? Perhaps we should start with what it is not: the scheduling and planning of every last minute of every last day of your dreadful life. Sadly, external forces, obligation and that horrible R-word, “responsibility,” have a tendency to eat your entire family, half of your friends, and all of their time combined. Before you know it, you wake up each day feeling behind and anxious, which can lead to a sort of spontaneous, but with the added bonus of combustion.
According to the dictionary a la Random House, “spontaneous” is “coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned.” My favorite parts of that definition are the natural impulse, unconstrained and unplanned parts. In a word, “spontaneous” is homologous to freedom. It’s doing what you feel like doing, when you feel like doing it, without the hassle of preordained rigaramole and schedule checking. It’s running barefoot because you found mud, calling a friend for a quick connection, Pho on a moment’s notice, baking cupcakes at midnight, jumping on a trampoline when rain begins to drop, sleeping in, running for brunch without a shower and dropping any and all to tell a loved one they’re loved.
Spontaneity is reaching into your guts, most major organs, and all five senses to listen, greet and provide front stage to your simplest and most urgent desires. Oh how I believe in that.