Can you remember the last time that you made an effort to pick up something new? I don’t mean doing something you’ve never done before, but rather learning an art form, a language, a craft that is more than just a one hit wonder experience. Learning a new skill isn’t easily done. It takes effort. It takes commitment. It takes dedication.
It’s so interesting to think about how easy this was as a child. We picked up sports. We learned new languages. We learned completely new ways of doing things at every stage of our mathematical learning. We tried out instruments. We had art class. We were constantly trying and mastering new things.
Today I had my very first violin lesson in over a decade. And it was brutal…on so many levels. My head hurt by the time the hour was over. It was like having a terrible night of drinking and waking up the next morning trying to piece the night back together. That’s essentially how I have felt from the time I walked into the music store on Saturday until my lesson today. There were these elements that vaguely came back to me and I’m so frustrated that while my body remembers the movements of the bow and the placement of my fingers, my mind can’t remember how to connect it all to the notes on the page.
Before my instructor left, she had one final word: “Maxie, I need you to quit being so hard on yourself.” I smiled and thought to myself…you’re preaching to the choir homegirl.
I do. We all do. Need to be easier on ourselves that is. Especially when we’re picking up something new. The question I posed in the beginning of this blog was when was the last time you even made the effort to do something new? My guess is that if you’re anything like me, it takes years to finally decide to do something new. It took me 4 years to finally learn how to swing a golf club (thanks little bro!). It was over a year before I decided to finally learn how to code (thanks SkillCrush!). It took me 3 years to sign up for my first violin lesson to relearn my instrument (thanks TakeLessons!)
And it is all so frustrating. Like frustrating in ways you can’t imagine. Your head hurts. Your heart hurts. You’re tired from trying and from sucking. But ya know what…You tried. And you’ll keep trying until you get it. And your mind is being expanded in ways that you can’t imagine, giving you the space to grow and develop.
Plus, having new interests, the difficult interests like the arts and like new skills, they make you interesting. And being a person of depth and interest will do everything for your perspective in life. It will force you outside of your comfort zone and provide you with skills and determination that are unique to our adult lives.
So get your renaissance on and learn that language you always intended to. Pick your instrument back up. Sign up for that painting class. Your mind and soul will appreciate the infused sense of newness and you’ll feel like the intriguing Renaissance Woman we all know that you are.