I am taking a calligraphy workshop that has pushed me very much out of my comfort zone. I left comfortable before lunch on the first day, but I am still in class and learning. The class is about learning a dry brush technique and for someone who has very little experience using a brush this is way out! I’m having fun, being challenged and having to remind my self what it feel like to not know how to do things.
I hope I never grow too old to want to learn new things. Sure it is uncomfortable, and yes I am not always pleased with what I produce. As I have said to myself multiple times each hour, “This is not going to end up in the Louvre so just do it and it will get better.” Frustration is part of the learning cycle, as is failure, disgust, aha moments, and momentary abilities to actually do what your head envisions should be on the paper. So I keep learning and then building the techniques into my own work, knowing full well that I can always do better and improve.
I must admit that learning is exhausting. It takes energy and concentration to focus on doing something that is different than anything you have ever done before. Learning takes time, effort, money, energy and a commitment to do it no matter the circumstances that arise that could be used as an excuse to get out of being uncomfortable. It would be easier to not go back to finish class, but that is not who I am. Being willing to learn means being willing to be uncomfortable no matter what.
So here’s to the people who are willing to teach those who are willing to learn. When was the last time you were uncomfortable enough to learn something new?