Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I love learning new skills or hobbies. Being able to express and entertain myself in any number of ways, flow with other artists, and trade information with other people with random skills are all exciting ideas. I once traded a friend a painting for him changing my oil. My boyfriend and I swap knowledge of musical scales and chords and vocabulary. That's the kind of stuff I think is cool.
Over the winter I started learning how to hoop dance and got decent at it. I still do it every day, but previous to that I always thought I was not physically coordinated enough to do any type of physical activity, like sports or dance. These things never seemed to come as easy to me as others(though in retrospect I wonder if that's just because I believed it to be true), and I usually don't even try. But I was exposed to the most amazing dancer that made me want to learn, just by how awesome she was. Inspiration is the best fuel for putting in a bunch of painstaking time towards learning something. Learning random hoop tricks(and especially how to make them flow together) was and is difficult, but it's impossible to dedicate time each day to something and not start feeling comfortable with it. There is nothing like struggling day after day with something and slowly starting to feel it become muscle memory. Yet another mode of expression, now as natural as drinking water.
I once read an article on the fact that there is virtually no limit to how much information our brains can hold. In other words, we can't "run out of room" in our memories. This is one of the most encouraging facts I have ever learned, and makes me want to master every instrument I can get my hands on. Now the trick is learning how to focus my energy on mastering one in particular.
Recently I decided I'm going to learn to play cello. Picking that thing up and holding the bow makes me feel like a fumbling toddler. Starting anything new feels extremely foreign, and it's hard not to get discouraged at first by your idea of what you want to sound like compared to the atonal screeches you may be producing at first(allow this to be a metaphor for whatever new skill you want to acquire). But it's impossible not to feel progress each day, no matter how seemingly small, if you actually put time in. I have a looooong way to go with the cello(I hurt my own ears when I play that thing) but it is kind of exciting having a blank perspective and starting from the ground up.
As I've heard people say before, the time is going to pass anyway, why not spend a half hour less on facebook and spend it instead learning something new?
I have never been a very "goal oriented" thinker, more like all over the place with a million ideas but no discipline to set them in motion. It was a very recent thing that I started to see the value in some type of structure in life. My vague ideas of "something creative" as what I wanted to spend my time/life doing were just not cutting it. Some type of routine and priorities are very necessary. Kinda like when you first learn to drive, if you don't keep your eyes on the road up ahead, and instead focus on the ground immediately in front of the vehicle, you start swerving all over the place.