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The Good and Bad of Familiarity

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

We partake in more familiar things than not. Every day it is a conscious and intentional choice to counteract the feeling of safeness and familiarity. This is extremely difficult when we live in a world that repeats itself over and over again. Every year we have Christmas, the 4th of July and Easter. Every fall we wait for Packer Sunday, every summer is filled with baseball, family cookouts and the lake. Seasons come every year, Sunday through Saturday will always happen and a day will always have 24 hours. How do we not become familiar when things around us are nearly moving in cycles of sameness?

I was so excited to make one of my first big girl purchases - my Jeep. I had my old car for a few weeks after my new purchase, admiring my old vehicle from afar. Once it was truly gone...I was more sad than I thought I would be. It made me realize sometimes new things aren't always better. I was sad I went through the ages of 16 - 21 with that vehicle. Countless dances, picking people up, high school, college, boyfriends, my favorite dog, different states, that car saw a lot..but I also realized it wasn't the car that held the memories. My mind and heart cherished these memories, the car was just the common and familiar denominator. As human beings we truly are creatures of habit and enjoy familiarity whether we want to admit it or not. Don't get me wrong I love adventure and mystery and meeting new people, but there's something about consistency that is quite appealing as well and that is where familiarity sets in.

The important question is if we are alert to familiarity? Familiarity can be a blessing or a curse based on our awareness of it.

I will be the first to tell you I struggled with my speech to those who are familiar to me. When I say speech, I am referring to tone of voice, dictation and in my case, shortness. I am not sure if it was laziness, confusion, or lack of sureness in myself that led me to change my tone when it came to conversations with those close to me. I am thankful that in my recent time of self reflection and self awareness, I have become aware and alert to these faults and have grown to change them.

I learned the most important people are the ones closest to you and they deserve more than anything, to be spoken to as you would a stranger. None of us are perfect and we can continually work on ourselves, as long as we don't get too familiar and comfortable with our habits or actions. Maybe you have recognized your tone of voice or conversations you have with people you are familiar with versus people who are strangers. Does it sound the same? It is easy to get stuck in a down slope of familiarity with familiar people, speaking out of sorts. We should be treating the people we know the best, how we treat people we know the least. Let's speak with positivism to everyone we know and are familiar with.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself...

In a world where things happen in sequence and familiarity can lead to bad habits - be a spark of energy, excitement and ultimately the most enjoyable and enthusiastic person you know. For others as well as yourself.

Your Girl Next Door and So Much More,

Danika Tramburg

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