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Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Time to Change That Mindset

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I’ve been going about my life the wrong way. Chances are, you have, too. 

Allow me to explain.

Recently, I had an epiphany of sorts as I watched my brother play Celeste, one of the best indie video games ever made, for the first time — a game I had already completed in the past.

As I watched my brother traverse through the many challenging stages the game has to offer, waves of fond memories suddenly washed over me, recalling the enjoyable times I had with this masterpiece.

My heart rate rose with excitement and a yearning to replay Celeste quickly filled my head. However, this excitement was short-lived as one glaring issue prevented me from experiencing this gem all over again: well into my adulthood, I typically only experience things once, especially video games.

Celeste, we have a problem.

So, I found myself at a crossroads: should I start playing Super Mario Wonder (a new game recently gifted to me) or take the plunge and replay Celeste

As I so often do, I chose the former. But not for long.

One day, feeling unengaged with my afternoon, my brother’s Xbox stared right into my soul from across the living room, and the idea of enjoying Celeste once again popped into my head. So, I did the unthinkable and finally gave in to those constant thoughts.

With this newfound commitment,  I hastily booted up my brother’s Xbox, clicked on Celeste and started a new game. A rush of jubilation immediately swept over me.

As I instinctively controlled Madeline (the game’s protagonist), things clicked instantly and organically. It felt as if I had never stopped playing the game at all. Heck, I was even uncovering secrets I had missed in my initial playthrough.

Hmm, I think this second playthrough of Celeste is trying to show me something. It was giving me a fresh perspective on something I thought I was completely done with. Most importantly, though, I was having a blast.

I think I get it now. Re-experiencing something all over again can be worthwhile. 

Marck, meet epiphany; epiphany, meet Marck.

This new playthrough of Celeste was proving to be just as rewarding an experience as the first time around and it was most welcomed. It felt like eating my favorite homecooked meal for the first time in years or wrapping myself up in my childhood blanket. Things just felt right.

In my perpetual self-improvement journey, this all got me thinking, “Maybe I should re-experience other aspects of my life and see what comes of it.” 

Then the gears in my head started to turn: Maybe I should rewatch that movie that didn’t click with me the first time; maybe I should relearn that one skill so I could master it better — there’s absolutely no harm in revisiting something a second time, or however many times, and improving upon the first experience. 

Sure, the element of surprise may be gone, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be enduring an experience with zero takeaways – clearly not. I can rekindle emotions of familiarity and comfort all while gaining new insights that I didn’t see before. 

I’ve been misguided for not giving many things in my life a second chance as I’ve gotten older. I guess my rationale stemmed from the fact that we only have a finite amount of time in our lives and we should experience as many new things as possible to get our money’s worth out of this pale blue dot we call home. 

A bit dramatic, I know, but that has been my thinking for quite some time now. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

And so, that day, as I watched my brother experience Celeste for the first time, I learned my old ways had been mistaken. But now I get it. Like the great Robert Plant once sang, “Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.”

Something that’s already familiar can absolutely serve as the catalyst for a new outlook.

The whole point of this post is to normalize to me (and to you, too) that it’s OK to reattempt something as many times as I see fit. I don’t always have to search for that one new hobby, that new favorite game or whatever. 

So let’s climb those mountains we’ve already climbed before (full circle Celeste reference) and keep growing today and every day. You never know; we might just learn something new along the way.

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