I’m experiencing a learning phase right now, in several aspects of my life. It’s one of my great pleasures to immerse myself in something that someone I like is good at: I thrive on enthusiasm. It makes the information stick better, and there is nothing more fun than giving a good teacher pleasure by learning something they’re passionate about. So I’m having a pretty good time, discovering new things and improving at them.
That being said, the water is nearly over my head just at the moment. I’m learning something new that I hope will improve my creative life. I’m exploring and getting better at something that I do for fun. I’m adding to the roster of my professional skills in order to improve my life in general. I’m learning things about myself. A lot of the time, this feels like too much information, and I’m positive I’m not taking it in. Too much practice, and I feel I’m just stumbling around in the dark. But here’s the thing about learning, particularly if you’re pushing yourself too far: it all makes the blade sharper. I’ve been surprised again and again at how much of what I’m learning comes back to me a week or ten days later at the appropriate moment, even if I was absolutely blurry-headed when the information imprinted. The new things bubble to the surface as I need them, and old things that I’ve forgotten about, but that are somehow relevant, come with them. Like the paperclip metaphor for memory: pick one up and a whole string of them comes with it.
This evening, I was experiencing some guilt over not getting more work done this evening. Then I started mentally reviewing my week – things I knew at the end of last week, and things I know now. Things I was afraid of last week that I plunged in and did this week. This week has ticked quite a few boxes for me, and the next two weeks are looking about the same. A lot of information, a lot of trepidation, some challenges that definitely feel too hard. My jewelry making has suffered some neglect, as has my business housekeeping. But I spent this weekend resting and recharging, letting my new information settle in my bones. Next week I’ll keep adding to it, and even if I miss the mark, I’ll know more than I did this week. My world is getting bigger.