Be A Beginner

Aug. 9, 2019When was the last time you tried something new? Maybe last week? Yesterday? Now, when was the last time you really stuck with it, let yourself be bad at something?



As children, we’re told we have to stick with it. We fall off the bike, and then we get back on. We play instruments, pluck out a few bad chords on the guitar or shakey notes on the clarinet, we finger paint, delighting in the sheer mess of it, not caring whether we’re making the next abstract masterpiece or not. It’s fun, so we do it (we’re children in this instance, after all). Simply delighting in the process. Whether or not it’s an activity our child-selves actually enjoy, our parents, they tell us to stick with it.

That practice makes perfect. That through striving and perseverance, we’ll get better at something, maybe even grow to love it. But eventually, that parental guidance gives way. We go to college, become our own selves. Become adults with bills and jobs and other things to think about. Sure, we may have hobbies and pick things up from time to time, but so often, the things we enjoy doing are the things that come easily to us. We turn the skill of riding a bike into a passion for cycling. Former track athletes now run in the mornings before work. You get the gist.

When was the last time you truly allowed yourself to be a beginner? We’re not talking about trying something once and then never going back. We’re talking true beginner, someone who tries something, fails, and then tries again simply because they enjoy the thing they’re doing. If you’re an adult with a busy schedule, we’re willing to guess it’s been a while. At some point in our development, we move away from allowing ourselves to be bad at things we enjoy. We shift our expectations of trying to our children or simply tell ourselves that the thing we attempted was hard and therefore not for us. Think about how limiting this is.

We all have that thing – or those things – on our bucket lists. Or that we’ve always wanted to try. Rock climbing. Sewing. Surfing. French food. Learning Spanish. Traveling alone. Maybe there have even been attempts to try them – and inevitable failures. This is our call for you to get back up and try again. Did you have fun? Were you bad at it? That’s OK! As our parents would say: As long as you had a good time, that’s what matters. As the end of summer comes into view (we know, we’re sorry), why not pick up a new hobby? Something challenging that may take some time to learn? Studies have shown that lifelong learning is good for us in the long run, but who needs science and facts when the activity itself brings happiness and joy? Think of the finger painting: it’s messy, the colors may get muddied and brown, but it feels awfully good to make the mess.

Have you picked up any new hobbies lately? Let us know by tagging @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadogreenMagazine on social!

Julie O'Boyle

By Julie O'Boyle

 —  Julie O'Boyle is a freelance writer and content strategist with a background in fashion and DIY and a devotion to the outdoors and functional nutrition. Currently residing in the woods of Maine, when she's not writing you can find her at the beach or on a mountain, or otherwise getting her hands dirty.

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