Rediscover something from your past. Visit a place from your childhood where you felt safe, eat a meal your parents used to cook for you, or visit an old friend who changed your life. Do it because life may have moved you away from these things, but that doesn't mean they're gone forever.
Try something you haven't experienced in 5 or more years, because
old is the new new!

Why:

You've spent the last four months meeting, creating, exploring, and learning- let's take a minute to remind ourselves of who we are. Remember, who we are and who we become is founded on who we once were. There are elements of everyone's life so far forgotten that rediscovering them can be life altering. Some activities may have been menial, but we lost sight of them when we "became adults". Isn't it time to find these again? See what this voyage of rediscovery brings to your life!

Try things that may not have been fun, but were given up on because they were difficult.

Maybe you won't even like these things anymore. But it's about trying, isn't it?

Bonus points!

Keep up the previous month's challenges! If you meet up with old friends, take them to do new things!

Trivia:

That guy who was a jerk to you in middle school is currently getting bitten by raccoons out behind an Arby's dumpster. I did the research, so I know it to be true. You should probably go help him out, I hear raccoons carry rabies.

Resources:

FaceBook - Track down old friends and stak your exes*
*please do not stalk your exes. The Brave New in no way condones online stalking of that girl who got away. The one who you went on a few dates with, but then she moved away, and you're pretty sure if
she just saw how awesome you were, she'd realize you were meant to be.
COME BACK TO ME MELISSA!
 

Chocolate Milk! Rediscovery: Drinking chocolate milk!

How Long HAS it Been: Probably 22 years.

Why: I’d guess when I was around 6 or 7, I decided drinking brown goo was gross. I was a smart kid, that recognition has served me well in life. Seriously, 90% of the time, when asked, “Will you drink this brown viscous mass?” I feel like I answered correctly. This decision has come at the cost of all chocolate beverages. Possibly for the same reason, I just have never liked chocolate all that much.

What Was it Like Then: Brown, thick, and therefore gross. Gross like girls were. Girls with cooties.

What is it Like Now: SWEET AMBROSIA. How come no one has ever stopped me on the street and demanded I drink chocolate milk? I’m pretty sure we could stop wars with this stuff. It’s like a unicorn crapped a rainbow into my brain! Granted, it was a little thick, and kind of like drinking pudding, but what a faboulous pudding.

Notes: My policy on drinking brown goop remains unchanged. Chocolate milk serves as the sole exception now.

Rediscover: Jump rope!Jumping Rope

How long HAS it been: ~21 years? When’s the last time I elementary school PE forced me to do it?

Why: There’s no rhyme or reason to this one. I wasn’t planning doing this, but while working out at something called a “gym” with newfound friends in the Asian Meetup group, I was handed a jump rope, and I realized it had been at least two decades since I tried this infuriating device.

What was it then: Jumping rope always seemed to be the most demeaning physical activity conceived by man. Associated in my mind, most closely with very young girls on the playground, the only thing more humiliating to me than a man jumping rope is a man jumping rope poorly. And jumping rope is something I was quite poor at in elementary school. Why did phys ed make us do that, anyway? Anyway, as you can tell, I was not a fan.

What is it now: Not.  Easy.  In fact, arguably much harder than it was when I was a child.  It seemed a little small for someone of my height, though the man who handed it to me was probably only 3-4 inches shorter.  This damnable device kept either thwapping my head, my feet, or spectators.  Surprisingly, your body apparently has to become somewhat acclimated to this process-  given I’m a good 2 feet taller than last time I tried this, it was not behaving as my body anticipated.  How bizarre!  Academically, this was probably the most interesting thing I’ve tried this month.  In practice, I’ll probably shelve this for another 21 years, at which point I’ll have robot legs and the ability to set the rope on fire with my bionic laser eyes if it displeases me again.  Which it will.

I Tame Land Sea LionsToday’s Rediscovery: Awkwardly call a girl for a first date

How long HAS it been: ~10 years?

Why: Since the era of “getting digits” has somewhat ended, as adults we don’t have such awkward, jarring transitions through social interactions. This practice has, thank god, gone the way of the dodo.  Nonetheless, there’s no forgetting the timeless classic move that we all bludgeoned our way through as we came of age.

How was it was like then: Awkward.  Heart pounding, palms sweating, tantamount to going skydiving.  Dial 7 or 8 numbers, get too nervous to continue, hang up.  She gave me her phone number in calculus, she definitely wants me to call, right?  Right?  But what if she doesn’t want to go do whatever the hell it was we did in Colorado on dates?  Seems a great idea until faced with the harsh reality of the situation.

How is it like now: Awful.  Really, really awful.  I don’t wanna talk about it, internet.  Let us never revisit or speak of this ever again.  In fact, let’s retcon this event, and pretend I tamed a land sea lion in the name of The Brave New.  And yes, we do have sea lions on land.  We call them land sea lions.  I tame them.

Notes: I can’t even chalk this up to failure, reattempting this horrible experience made me realize how far I’ve developed socially, and how far most of us have come.

TennisToday’s Rediscover: Tennis!

How Long HAS it Been: 10 Years!

Why: I remember in high school a tennis instructor was wandering around our cafeteria, trying to get boys to sign up for this sport. Our school had tennis courts, but, being a new school, had never had a tennis team. I remember thinking, “Hey, I can try out for a sport where EVERYONE starts out at the same level of awfulness as me?” Forgive the poor grammar, but I was in high school, people. Anyway, I joined, became the co-captain of the team with my friend Brian, and never improved at all.

What Was it Like Then: I was awful. Truly awful. I didn’t win a single match in all my years playing. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you become co-captain of the varsity team.

Read more »

Today’s Rediscovery: Attending a poetry slam!

MC of the Slam

Our MC for the evening greets a theatre filled so far past capacity that half the audience sits cross legged on the stage itself.

How Long HAS it Been: ~10 years

Why: Back when I lived in Colorado, over ten years ago, I regularly went to a small haunt called the Mercury Cafe.  Every Sunday night, if I recall, I was either swing dancing there or taking in a poetry slam.  These competitive poetry and prose readings must have been something I enjoyed immensely, but when I moved to California I completely lost track of this interest.

What it was then: I clearly remember a young girl named Helen detailing the fragility of a moth, a clear corollary to her own delicacy.   A pink-haired man named Paul told me that life was like Mario 1.  You can’t go back.  But I barely remember the emotions stirred in me.

What it is now: Ironically, words fail me.  My father was neither a carpenter nor a wordsmith, so my vocabulary lacks the hammers to build a coherent account of this evening.  Oh, wait, no, there we go.  It was transcendent.  I have never felt more passion espoused in the course of one evening.  I witnessed what I understand to be the first slam championship held at Los Angeles’  Da Poetry Lounge in 3 years, and watched the creme de la creme rise, spitting prose and competing to win a place at the grand slam championship in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Read more »

Mac N CheeseToday’s Rediscovery: Eating Blue-Box Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

How Long HAS it Been: ~22 years?

Why: I don’t think I liked Mac N’ Cheese very much as a kid.  I’d have to check with my mother, but I suspect I either ate it too often and grew weary of it, as I did spaghetti, or I witnessed a brutal murder at the Kraft corporation and have been too busy repressing memories to cook.  Either way, people seem to like the stuff, so here goes.

What it was like then: I honestly have absolutely no recollection, which is very odd for me.

What it’s like now: F’in hard to cook.  Seriously, it requires milk AND margarine?  What do I look like, someone who can take care of themselves competently?  I boiled some water, found something that probably once was some kind of margarine, and prayed to god that something wasn’t a remnant of a past room-mate’s herbal experiments.  It appeared there was no way of pouring this into a toaster, so I threw it on the stove and prayed to every dairy-based deity I could think of.

Notes: Meh.  This dirtied a pot, was a goopy mess, and tasted somewhat lackluster.  Perhaps had I added milk and not completely failed as a self-sustaining adult, this would have been amazing.  But more likely, this part of my youth was forgotten because it wasn’t worth remembering.

Kari and MeToday’s rediscovery: Meeting up with Kari Rose, my first girlfriend!

How long HAS it been: ~15 years?

Why: Kari was the girl who I went on my first date with, was my first kiss, and became my first girlfriend when I was only 13.  Bearing such a pivotal role in my life, it seems only fitting she help me kick off May’s challenge.

What it was like then: I seem to recall I was nervous all the time around her.  Seeing as I couldn’t drive, nor did either of us have any older friends, I think we managed to go to the movies a few times and maybe a school dance or two, but our interaction was largely limited to theatre, as we were both thesbians.

What it is like now: Markedly less nerve-wracking.   Kari’s mannerisms, gesticulations, speech patterns, sense of humor, all remained… shockingly identical to the Kari I dated that many years ago.  We both have presumably changed a bit, she’s been through a marriage and several moves across the nation, and I’ve known the joys and tribulations of hedgehog ownership.  But… somehow those things didn’t really marr the aspects that defined us even in our early teens. Read more »

Go Fly a KiteThis month we’re taking a slight deviation from the tasks of blasting into undiscovered frontiers.  This month, let’s explore who we once were.

I once read a book, I’ve forgotten what it was long ago, that detailed the shock of growing up.  A girl lamented that she thought she’d hit an age where she announced, “I’m an adult now!” and just put her toys away and started doing adult things.  But to her dismay, it didn’t work that way.  Instead, she just gradually lost interest and, worse, forgot about her whimsical passions.  There was no memorable end, no moment of fond rememberence as the past departed.  She, like many of us, just… forgot her youth as it gradually slipped away.

Have I done this?  Have you done this?  What has been lost to us as the years and responsibilities have stacked up?  Let’s find out!

I’ve started pounding out a list of things I haven’t done since certain milestones in my life.  I completed college a little more than 6 years ago. High school a little less than 10.  Middle school, 14, elementary school, 16…  What are some of the things I took great joy in that I’ve lost track of?  What challenges did I face that I couldn’t complete?

Read more »

Brave Newbie Writers

Phil WarrenPhil Warren (81)
Founder and editor of The Brave New, Phil Warren is now an accordion player, a minister, a sonic weapons expert, a director, a photographer, a public speaker, and a bunch of other things. Mostly he's an adventurer though. An adventurer who smells nice. Except when he doesn't.
NickNick (6)
One part Burner and one part Engineer; I’ve lived through twenty-five-and-a-half winters, and aim to keep it that way. My world is a strange one, and it’s my goal to make it stranger.

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Blogroll

  • No Weekend Left Behind An adventure group dedicated to ensuring that when the work week is done, the weekend lives up to it’s potential.
  • The Eskhaton The life and times of Cub, an adventurer I respect blossoming with energy who sucks the marrow out of life.
  • This Tumblr Will Change Your Life Part instruction manual, part therapy, part religious cult, part sheer anarchy, this is a day-to-day quest very similar to “This Book Will Change Your Life”