It’s been about a month an a half now since I did something I would call “crazy new”. I started taking tap dance lessons…
During this past week I was finally introduced to the “Shirley Temple” (shuffle, heel, heel, pull, heel, tap, heel, repeat — or something close to that) and I realized how much I enjoyed things for a variety of reasons.
I’m Learning New Things
That “never stop learning”cliche is something I try to hold to. I’m exposing myself to and learning bits of programming techniques and languages all the time, but this takes it a step further. I really have no base knowledge to work off of. My brain has become this big sponge, soaking in new things. Just when I thought we had all of the techniques mapped out and identified, I come back next week and there is another half dozen that I’m exposed to, and then my body stumbles over itself trying them all out. But slowly I’m building up knowledge and technique, and then I get to apply it. It’s rather exciting.
I thought I had a pretty good sense of dexterity and body control, but this has thrown all of that out of the window. Your body wants to move left, but you’ve put all your weight on your left foot, so you’re stuck, and you have to get your weight to your right foot from the previous move. A lot of things I thought I took for granted is out the window. It can be rather humbling, especially when you’re in a class where everybody else has been doing this for a year or so already. Humility (not embarrassment) is good for the soul and helps you keep perspective in life.
Admittedly not every single moment (see previous two bullet points as to why) is fun, but hearing the music, putting the pieces together, seeing it come together, meeting new people all is a lot of fun. Additionally, it is opening my mind and soul to a new realm of itself that it hasn’t really explored much of and it is enjoying the adventure of discovery.
Go Get Crazy!
You should do something “crazy new” as well. Are you a cerebral type person? Maybe try out dance, or art, or something like that. In my small town there are some free opportunities available at times, and the local community college often offers classes that aren’t too expensive. Are you a creative person that doesn’t do much “structured” type stuff. Try learning a programming language. There are tons of free resources online that don’t require you to install anything. Another option would be to pick up a starter deck for one of those collectible card games (Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon) and start looking into deck building and strategy that comes with those things. Your local comic book / gaming shop most likely has a night you can meet up with others and get used to the game.
I call this “crazy new” because learning tap is something completely out of my normal routine or skill set. This software engineer, runner, wood chopper, geek guy never took one thought about taking tap dancing lessons until about a few months ago. Diving into this new arena of things adds a new dimension (and excitement of learning) to my life and I think it will for you too.