Recent Thoughts: Part 2

I think it's partly built into our educational structure that school = learning and no school = no learning. Or maybe that's just me. But either way, I've sort of assumed that now that I'm done with school, I've made it to the end of the learning marathon, and now all the running is done. No more learning for me. 16 years of formal education is all I need for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, it's taken me approximately four years to dig myself out of that rather embarrassing hole of an assumption, with the added assistance of an article I read recently about a guy with no experience who decided to build a boat. It was a good article. He described how he got the idea to build a little boat while walking on the beach with his son, and after some thought, he decided to go for it. Over the five months it took him to build the boat, he started learning how to do woodworking and grew to love it. Because he loved it so much, he built many things in between working on the boat, and by the end, he had some reasonable skill and a new lifelong hobby. 

In a world that prizes excellence, I've found that it's difficult for me to start something new if I know my first attempt is not going to be stellar. I should know better, being a musician (albeit a musician on somewhat of a hiatus at the moment). I can't expect to pick up an instrument and be a prodigy, so this idea that I should be immediately successful at whatever else strikes my fancy is ludicrous. But between the idea of having laughable first attempts plus the assumption that learning is over forever was enough to keep me from trying new things. And that, I finally concluded, is no way to live life. 

So finally, following the banishment of those two ideas, I've started recovering, and it's been great fun to rediscover some long-dormant hobbies. I'm certainly not the best seamstress or photographer, and I may never be able to make a living off of either of those two things, but I may turn into a really fantastic novice. And for now, that's enough. 

 Dabbling in photography since at least 2011.

Dabbling in photography since at least 2011.