Knowledge & Love

This month I’m participating in a Gratitude Challenge.

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I realized recently that the reason I’d rather have someone tell me the answer to a question than look it up online for myself is because I’m an auditory learner.

There are four learning styles – visual, auditory, kinestetic, and reading/writing. Now one might think, based on my lifestyle and hobbies, that I’m a reading/writing learner. It’s true that I process things through writing and at times learn things through novels, but there’s a reason I typically only listen to nonfiction audiobooks. It’s because I like to learn by listening.

It’s why I read things out loud to myself, often have to speak the process out loud to do mental math, and why I’m enjoying podcasts so much. It’s also why I work best when listening to something – music, a podcast, or TV show. During college my laptop was often a split screen – a TV show on one side and whatever assignment I was working on on the other. Now that I’m a professional I use my tablet for Netflix and leave my computer screen wide open for work. *taps head*

I like that as a non-student I can aquire knowledge about whatever topic interests me. It occured to me today that I’m typically either really interested in a topic (lots of follow up questions) or completely uninterested (change the subject). I’m really interested in true crime. I also like learning about language and phonics and why words are the way that they are. I like learning about psychology and why our brains work the way they do, what influence our experiences have on our actions and personalities, and the general WHY behind people’s choices. That kind of goes hand in hand with the true crime, honestly – learning the background of criminals and, when possible, the WHY behind their crimes.

I like being an auditory learner. It’s a pretty easy learning style to accommodate for. If I’m ever having trouble understanding something, I just read it out loud to myself.

I like listening to things. In the month of October I listened to a couple Goosebumps audiobooks. I also love the Harry Potter audiobooks, funny memoirs, and autobiographical cult stories. My favorite podcasts to listen to our My Favorite Murder and Small Town Murder. Sometiems I mix it up with Armchair Expert. I like listening to people have a conversation. When I had roommates in college I loved falling asleep to their chatter. My favorite playlists to listen to lately are a fall playlist I found on Spotify by someone named Gabrielle Scalzo and my Summer 2019 playlist (COIN, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, The Band CAMINO, and Bad Suns).

What kind of learner are you? How do you best aquire knowledge and what have you been learning lately?

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There are many types of love in my life and many directions I could go. My first thought was to write about how grateful I am for the love of my dogs. I love them and they love me unconditionally and that’s pretty cool. Then I thought about romantic love, of course, and what I’ve been learning about that lately. I thought about my wonderful friends and how much I love them. I thought about the encouragement I saw recently to “romanticize your friendships and friendicize your romances.”

But ultimately I decided to write about incest.

Okay, so here’s my question. Is it wrong (socially in most of the United States – I can’t speak to other cultures/countries) to romantically be involved with one’s cousin only because of the possible disastrous outcomes of reproducing? Or is there something more inherently wrong with being romantically (and sexually) involved with a first cousin?

Some might argue that it’s the growing up in the same family angle that makes falling in love with your cousin gross and weird. To which I respond that couples who have known each other since they were young and were kindergarten sweethearts are seen as absolutely adorable! Couples like this have many shared experiences, friends, and places, but it’s not gross for them to get together. It’s cute!

Some might argue that it is the reproducing thing. That it’s just irresponsible to make children with someone who shares that much of your DNA. To which I respond – what if it’s a step cousin situation and there isn’t actually that much shared DNA? What if the couple doesn’t plan on (or cannot) reproduce? What if one or both members of the cousin-couple were adopted? Does that change anything?

I’m not romantically in love with my cousin. I don’t really have any male cousins of any consequence. It’s just something I thought about recently. I asked some friends and nobody had a good answer besides, “it’s just gross.” So if you have a better answer as to why it’s weird to have a romantic relationship with one’s cousin, I’d love to hear it. Just for fun.

And for love.

Post Script. Shoot. I guess this doesn’t really answer the challenge of gratitude. Am I grateful for romantically involved cousins? Well, I don’t know any, to be honest. Or I don’t know that I know any. What I’m grateful for is to live in a world where many people are celebrating romantic love in all its crazy and beautiful forms. Where love is love is love is love and people are free to marry who they want. I realize this is not true for many, many people living in many, many places around the world. But I’m grateful for growth and forward motion.

I’m also grateful for the freedom to ask questions and challenge societal norms. I’m grateful for my brain being set free to explore and wonder, “Do I actually believe this because I actually believe this or is it just what I’ve always been told?”

I’m also grateful for the love of my dogs, my family, and my friends. 😉

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