Saturday, 15 November 2014

Why You Should Try New Things

I’m warning you now, this is a late night ramble to myself. Hopefully this will prove more fruitful than my other late night hits of inspiration; a quick browse on my phone reveals the last one was “What would happen to the English language if the Nazis had won?” Okay Anna.

Anywho, to the “point” of this one.

I’m a creature of habit. I like sticking to what I know – in fact I’ve got more habits than your average nun.

Usually, being a bit habit-prone ain’t no bad thing. It’s part of our characters – I like to think my loopy running style, love of making messes and tendency to play the same songs over and over are qualities that my loved ones enjoy about me. Not all habits are bad habits, after all.

My problem for the last few years has been that I nearly always assume I will suck at a new venture before I’ve even tried it – and trust me, it makes looking at job applications a far more depressing experience than is strictly healthy. I’m either a pessimist (to some, the highest form of optimism) or a pragmatist, depending on your particular stance.

I am however realising that this immediate fear of trying new things is incredibly stupid, and I’d like to give you an example.

I do pole fitness – now getting back into it after 15 months off – and it’s something I really enjoy. Prior to starting, the only exercises I was interested in doing were grammar ones for my course, and “interested in” is a bit of a strong way to describe my feelings on that subject.

But I went to my first pole class, after about a year or so of thinking, man, I would love to do that. My gorgeous bud Jess took me along and to start off with, I was sh*te. Like so bad. Imagine the worst thing you’ve ever done and multiply that by about three thousand.

But I stuck with it.

Turns out I’m not too shabby at pole fitness – I’m not the strongest girl in our squad, nor am I the skinniest (though now I say that, your weight really doesn’t make much difference as to how good you are) but what I discovered a few months in is that I have a surprisingly bendy back.

A very happy discovery it was too.

If you’re not au fait with pole, having a bendy back is actually incredibly useful – I feel like a bit of a fraud if I’m honest with you, as many moves tend to look far more impressive and even painful than they are as a result.

The crux of what I’m trying to get at with this is that if I had never taken that step, trying a sport when I was so convinced I sucked at anything sport related, I would not only have never experienced the joy of pole fitness, but my bendy back would have gone completely ignored; that thought makes me very sad indeed.

I have also got really into photography this year. I don’t think my skills in that department are anything to write home about (I’m learning, folks, I am learning) but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the sh*t out of snapping away, stumbling my way around Manual mode with all the skills of a drunken bear writing an opera.

Please don’t get any bears drunk now I’ve written that. Or make them write operas.

The fact is I’m enjoying learning, and finding teaching myself things far more enjoyable than having the education system try to teach things against my will.

What I’d like you to get from this ramble is that it ain’t too late, babe. That hobby you’re thinking of trying but just have yet to get round to? Go Google it this evening and let me know if you get started. That route you walk home? Mix it up a bit. Eating soup every night? (GUILTY) For God’s sake branch out a bit.

You might find a bendy back. Even if you don’t, you will love it... or else find that next step to the thing you do love.
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