A Month for Me…Learn Something New (Day 15)

(This post was meant for Friday–I apologize! I’ve had a couple busy days.) Hard to believe we are over the halfway mark in this challenge! I’m impressed with myself that this is the first time I’ve fallen truly behind. But part of my self-care and meditation challenge includes giving myself a break, so that’s the most apology you’ll receive from me. 😉

Something that not everyone knows about me is that I was homeschooled through high school. Now, I could write an entire post about the stigma that is attached to that (under-socialized, weird kids), but the point I want to make is that I believe it is a key reason why I love learning. There’s a very different mentality associated with learning when you’re homeschooled vs. in the public school system, at least based on my experience.

I was able to make choices about my education at an early age, and that’s not something everyone has the privilege of doing. That really gave me a sense of ownership over what and how I learned, and I wanted to learn everything. Honestly, I still do.

I enjoyed the hell out of my undergraduate studies—I liked being busy and meeting new people and learning a lot. Maybe that’s why it took me five years to finish (it kind of is—I added on a second major at the last minute). And then I moved to NYC to study for my master’s degree in publishing. I wanted to go straight to the source of learning: books.

Books are magical. You can learn about just about anything from every angle. And creating them can require a lot of learning, as well. Sure, the author is the expert (hopefully), but how can you query them and test their writing for holes without having a working knowledge of the subject? I digress.

The point is, I love learning. I love having a job that requires me to learn. And I hope someday to maybe be a teacher and be a student for life. I have an aching sense of curiosity that, when fulfilled, makes me incredibly happy. I’ve just taken part of my lunch break to go to the library and get books for my weekend. I also love my podcasts and spend a fair amount of time listening to them while performing other tasks.

That has been one way for me to learn something new: I’ve been listening to a French podcast on and off, while I get ready for work. It’s called Learn French by Podcast, and each episode is around 15 minutes. It’s easily digestible and themed. They also have online resources.

I’ve also been wanting to get back into sewing. I have a nice sewing machine that is collecting dust because I didn’t know where to start. I’ve decided that I want to try this project in a smaller size for our cat, Fred. It seems simple, and he desperately needs a new bed. I’ll post about it, if it’s successful. 🙂

Learning is incredibly psychologically rewarding for me. It’s not about commendations or grades but about improving myself and sometimes producing something useful or adorable.

If you’re having trouble coming up with something new to learn, here are some ideas:

  • Try a new sport or physical activity.
  • Teach yourself how to knit or crochet.
  • Learn a new language. You can do it on your own or take classes!
  • Participate in a Wine & Canvas night. You can paint something beautiful while enjoying a glass of wine.
  • If you’re in the market for a new career, read up on the skills involved and maybe take a class if applicable.
  • Pick a recipe for a food you’ve always been too intimidated to try and give it a go!

These are just a few ideas, but the point is to stretch yourself and grow. Half the fun is in the process.

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