Freakin’ learning, man.
Like, I love it. It’s taught me a lot. How to write these sentences, for example. How to read them afterward. How to highlight and delete a bunch of them right after that.
But sometimes, it’s the worst.
I would hazard a guess that I’m pretty average in that I don’t like learning things that are hard for me. In fact, as I’ve spent the past week, month, YEAR with so. much. time. on my hands, it has felt like the things that I’m truly interested in have shrunk far more than I ever would have suspected. It’s basically sugar-forward baked goods, books that have photo inserts, and comedy specials on Netflix. And I don’t even have to LEARN that stuff. I just let it soak into me, usually while I’m playing games on my phone.
Back in the wild days of yore, 2019, I never would have thought that a time would come in which I would have time. And when it started, I was ambitious. I got that free trial to LinkedIn Premium and started gettin’ all into LinkedIn Learning. I got a certificate in typography, then took a course called The Science of Well-Being, taught by Laurie Santos of Yale and The Happiness Lab podcast. I listened to a lot, a LOT, of podcasts. I paid for another course, kind of an extensive one, in Excel. I even got halfway through it. I found my practice sheets the other day, and couldn’t remember a single part of how I’d built any of them.
I learned to build a pretty simplistic website that had pages, practiced graphic design lite on Canva. I got a job, and another one.
And every single thing, every part of that, involved learning new things, which is exciting at a certain age, right? Like, look at what I did! Look at what I eventually, after a lot of huddling in corners and pacing wildly in my house and stress-eating, did. Look at what I made. Look, an equation!
But then? Then? I just kept HAVING to learn. There was job training, and then a second job training, and then a new part of the first job again. I was so crazy GRATEFUL to have work, to earn real money, which made me dive into the trainings, even as they made me feel old and tired.
Sometimes I just want to have already learned it. I want to have gotten to a part of life again in which I know what I’m supposed to be doing at work, to the point where I can sometimes put my brain on auto-pilot. Where I can get in the groove and laugh with co-workers and hug them when we’ve had a bad day and walk away from it when it’s time to go home and forget all about it until tomorrow because I know what I’m doing then, too.
I want to not be afraid in a Zoom with a bunch of people who all TOTALLY know what they’re doing and know each other and knew each other before, who have shared stories and secrets, even though they’re all so kind to me because I’m new.
I want to not have any Zoom, ever again.
Sorry, Zoom. It’s not you. You’re doing your best. It’s definitely me.
But even though sometimes each day feels like a test that I’m going to fail, like that nightmare where I wake up and remember that I enrolled in a class and forgot to go ALL SEMESTER and the final is today, I remember the awful, sucking boredom that filled so many days in this past year. Days where the weather was bad and I watched four straight movies because I always promised myself if I had time I would watch all these MOVIES I missed before, and I thought, man, I miss the hectic days and long nights at work when I was learning new jobs so I would know more about the operational side.
I missed…freakin’ learning.
Ultimately, as hard as it is and as much as it seems like it’s just not worth it, and collapsing back in front of pictures of baked goods while eating baked goods is just way, way better, the truth is that the freakin’ learning…leads to freakin’ growing. And even when it makes us feel old, it helps us feel alive.
But sometimes, the best lesson is that the hard stuff makes us appreciate the easy stuff so much more. So if something makes easy stuff even easier?
Yeah. I’ll try some freakin’ learning.