In order to be a well rounded, open minded, constantly learning individual, I believe it’s important to try new things. Often this phrase is associated with traveling or trying a new restaurant, but part of growing up is coming into contact with new things.

All the time.

I can’t tell you how many beauty products, streaming services, apps, games, clothes and general items I have come into contact with over the years. Things that I will look at, consider for a moment and then pass over in lieu of something familiar.

“That new burger does look good…but what if I don’t like it? I’ll stick with my usual.”

It’s this sort of thinking that keeps us blinded. It keeps us safe and comfortable and often begins to creep secret messages into our brains that are intolerable.

I am the type of person who finds activities and hobbies very interesting. I like to get involved, have a good time and then after a few weeks I move on to the next thing. Because of this personality trait of mine, I have grown to ignore my impulses to try new things.

I worry that I’ll buy hundreds of dollars worth of product, enjoy it for a week and then never touch it again. But this fear — was damaging my mind. I was cutting myself off from experiencing life and I found myself depressed and bored.

So I made a pact, that if I see something I am interested in, I will give it a try for one month. If after a month, I don’t enjoy it or I could live without it, then I move on, no hard feelings.

There are rules to this pact, though. One month, no less. You have to really give it a try — so remind yourself every day to use the new thing(s), you have to be aware of spending during this month and budget to keep from going overboard, and you have to get rid of all traces of it if you decide it’s not worth keeping up with.

A few months ago I bought a google home mini. I always thought it was a little weird to have one, because what would you use it for? Other than asking it what the time is, I was skeptical. I don’t have a smart home so it can’t turn on my lights or sprinklers or lock the doors, but it was on a massive sale for only 30 dollars and I couldn’t help myself!

I bought it and then applied my rules to my crazy purchase. I spent a few hours, learning how to use it and setting up personalized messages and my voice settings. I connected it to my google chrome and my phone and I was off!

It started slowly. A “What time is it?” Here, a “What’s the weather” there, but I was determined to give it a real shot. I set up a smart phrase so that when I say “good morning” it tells me the time, weather, my commute time, reads my calendar to me, and then reports the news.

I soon found myself relying on this as a morning routine. I set it up an alarm system so that when it wakes me up in the mornings, it launches into the routine and I can’t go back to sleep because there is loud news reporting.

I can easily play music when I’m writing or reading or getting ready in the mornings, I ask it random questions like how to spell certain words or what the capital of Fiji is, or even math problems. I love my google home mini, but if I hadn’t made a point to give it a real try, I’m sure it would just be sitting there on my table occasionally giving me the weather report.

I decided to give Essential Oils a try. I started slowly with cheap walmart brands and worked my way up to Young Living where I now have a monthly box shipped to my house! Every time I would have pain, sneezing, stomach aches, trouble sleeping or falling asleep, I would figure out the recommended essential oil and give it a try.

Not only did I find that they did indeed work as described, but that I truly enjoyed the aroma and even if the remedies didn’t work, the smell alone was good enough to keep it.

I got a Happy Planner and gave planning a try. I use planners for my work and figured this would be a no brainer. However, I found that the planning community was just a little too much for me. I did and still do like decorating my weekly layouts, but I’m just not as into it as others are. It’s much more of a job than a hobby.

But when I first got my happy planner, it was all I could do to keep myself from buying everything it came with! I wanted sticker books, washi tape, pens, hole punchers, the sticker makers! But I stuck to my bargain and waited.

Now I have a few stickers, some washi tape and a few inserts and that is enough for me.

Trying things that your friends enjoy or that catch your fancy keeps life interesting. It has given me a life lesson in that certain things I was skeptical about turned out to be fantastic while other things I was sure I would love turned out to be just okay.

I’ve learned to be patient, keep an open mind and to see things through. I don’t judge based on how trendy things are. Just because something is a massive trend doesn’t mean that it’s something fake. And just because something is low key and seems real doesn’t mean it is.

Trying new things and not apologizing or feeling guilty has opened my eyes and my life to new friends, new obsessions and new experiences.

I am a product of mixed America, learning to see the world for what it is: a giant mixing bowl of intrigue, wonder and beauty.